For the first time in 25 seasons, an African-American man will be The Bachelor. The ABC dating reality series has cast Matt James in the lead role as he looks for love and romance.
The Bachelor Announcement
James came to the attention of producers and Bachelor Nation fans when he was cast as a potential suitor on The Bachelorette. An ABC press release describes him as being “the total package,” noting that James has “strong family values, a great career, and over the past few months, he has used his growing platform for good.”
The news that James is the newest Bachelor was announced on Good Morning America. For those who aren’t familiar with James, he is 28, a real estate broker, and hails from North Carolina.
He attended Wake Forest University and majored in economics. While in school, he played wide receiver for the football team. He had a stint playing professional ball before he moved to New York City where he now lives.
“Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment, in a statement.
“When filming couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor. We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in, and we are proudly in service to our audience.
“This is just the beginning,” Burke adds, “and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise. We feel so privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor and we cannot wait to embark on this journey with him.” Season 25 of The Bachelor will air sometime in 2021.