In the many years ‘The Bachelor’ has been on air, ABC has finally casted their very first Black Bachelor on the show. The series ran for 40 seasons and 18 years with no BIPOC lead — only white bachelors.

Matt James, a 28-year-old real estate broker, entrepreneur, and community organizer is the newest lead after initially having been a planned contestant on the sister show for ‘The Bachelor’, ‘The Bachelorette.’ He played football at Wake Forest University where he afterwards was given the opportunity to play for the NFL. He now runs ABC Food Tours, an organization that gives underprivileged children food, exercise, as well as both mental and physical wellness.

ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke stated, “This is just the beginning and we will continue to take action to diversity issues on this franchise. We feel so privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor.”

Rachel Lindsay, the only former Black lead from ‘The Bachelorette’, expressed criticism of ABC’s dating competition series’s systematic racism amidst the Black Lives Matter movement. Shortly before the announcement came, Lindsay wrote, “It is a naive expectation to believe that leads will authentically start an interracial relationship for the first time on national television. The sad reality is that people of color become placeholders as the token person of color to add some flavor to the second half of the season.”

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