ABC named Matt James its first black 'Bachelor'

ABC named Matt James its first black 'Bachelor'
ABC named Matt James its first black 'Bachelor' to lead the network's long-running dating competition show, a long move by critics of the series due to a lack of diversity among its top men.

The casting was announced on "Good Morning America" ​​on Friday.

James, 28, of North Carolina was originally selected to compete for the affection of Clare Crowley in "The Bachelorette", but filming was suspended in March due to a coronovirus epidemic. "Good Morning America" ​​states that James founded an organization in New York City, which finds creative ways for children to connect with underscored areas.

The show was under pressure for years to become more diverse and create a black "Bachelor". A lawsuit filed in 2012 claimed that the show was barring contestants of color from leading roles. The case was dismissed on the basis of First Amendment.

So far, Rachel Lindsey was the only African-American to be starred in the franchise's 18-year history under the name "The Bachelorette" in 2017. Lindsay has publicly criticized the show for not performing well enough to further diversify. From behind the camera.

"This is something that 'Bachelor" fans have long wished for and asked, "Saar and Penn as directors of relations and welfare at Essay." This was not a new request. This is a long standing request. That franchise has not represented the diversity of its fan base. I think one of the things that surprises people is that they say "Oh, blacks don't see" The Bachelor "but yes, we do."

Penn described James' selection as a positive move for the popular dating show. She thinks that having black lead can create new interest in some people of color.

"Everyone wants to see themselves in their favorite shows," he said. "They want to see their lives, their love lives and their stories reflected. Especially on a show that everyone is watching."

On Friday, James said he was optimistic.

"I think it's a step in the right direction," he said on "Good Morning America," adding: "I don't think there's a bad time to do the right thing."

The Bachelor ”is expected to return in 2021.

James is a former professional and college athlete. Prior to testing minicamp with the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Birds, Wake played at Forest University as a wide receiver.

His friend and business partner Tyler Cameron, a contestant on "The Bachelorette", congratulated him on social media.

It is a testament to who you are as a person, ”said Cameron, who played football with James in Wake Forest. "Now the world can see who you are and what your heart is. You can change the world. Proud of you and very excited for you. "

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