The next Bachelor has arrived and it’s none other than 28-year-old Matt James. He will be making history as the franchise’s first-ever Black male lead, according to People.
James got his start as one of the contestants on the Clare Crawley season of Bachelorette. However, production shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic so it’s not known whether they were able to pursue their romance further.
Considering comments from Crawley, it’s doubtful that they made it very far. Back in April, she seemed to call out James for being on the show for the “wrong reasons.” According to People, she suggested some men were only on the show to gain fame and attention based on their pre-show behavior.
“If you are doing interviews and creating Cameo accounts before you are even on my season… you are in it for the wrong reasons… #dontwasteyourtime,” she tweeted without naming any of her season’s contestants. In another post, she continued, “Respect the opportunity you’ve been given. Respect the rules. Respect me.”
James seemed to respond to the tweets by clarifying that he is active on the Cameo app so he can raise money for coronavirus relief.
“Now for those of you who may have missed the messaging earlier this week, myself and Alex Bachman… pledged all of our Cameo earnings to the Robin Hood Foundation to fight this fight,” James explained on his Instagram Story.
Crawley later clarified that her tweet was “about MULTIPLE men and a general thought I was having while we sit here in a real-life crisis where someone’s (everyone’s) time + sincerity hold so much weight and value.”
Clearly, James has already found himself in some controversy so this should be an interesting upcoming season. Despite all the drama, his casting is still something to be celebrated, considering Bachelor Nation actually petitioned for more Black people and people of color on the ABC show.
When James’ casting was announced, ABC released a statement saying:
“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, and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise.”
With that being said, obviously, you can’t judge a book by his Instagram account, but you can check out a few photos of James below and decide whether you’d take that rose or nah.