The Bachelor franchise has officially announced Matt James as its next Bachelor!
The decision has made history as the franchise’s first-ever black Bachelor, following in the lead of Rachel Lindsay, who held the title of the franchise’s first-ever black Bachelorette for season 13 in 2017.
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On Friday morning, Good Morning America shared the exciting announcement that James would be making history with his role.
The show had recently received some backlash after Bachelor Nation called on the producers for more diversity in the franchise. The fanbase rallied around a new petition that called on ABC and executive producer Mike Fleiss to cast more people of color in the franchise. The petition had more than 84,000 signatures as of Friday morning and called the franchise’s lack of diversity “unacceptable.”
Aside from casting a black lead for season 25 of The Bachelor, the petition also has 13 calls to action which include casting BIPOC for “at least 35% of contestants” and giving them equal screen time to the rest of the cast.
Matt James was previously a contestant on Bacherelotte Clare Crawley’s upcoming season, and it’s still unclear whether he will continue to be a contestant given the season’s shutdown amid global health and safety concerns.