In the 18 years and 25 seasons of the Bachelor and Bachelorette, There has never been a black Bachelor. We had the first black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, and the first Latino Bachelor, Juan Pablo, who we want to forget but we've never had a black bachelor. Viewers and members of the Bachelor franchise have spoken out about a need of diversity after years of white centered casting with one black or person of color for every five white people. But after much public pressure, they made their first initative for change.
Matt James becomes the first black lead of 'The Bachelor' in franchise history l GMA www.youtube.com
On Friday, ABC announced that they've cast Matt James as the first black bachelor in the show's history. He was originally cast on Clare Crowley's upcoming season on the Bachelorette but it had been delayed due to the COVID pandemic. Now people had their own suggestions for the first black bachelor like Mike Johnson but he had declined several times. The show said that they want to change their platform and acknowledge that they have made mistakes in the past when it comes to their set up and want to do better by their network and the viewers of Bachelor Nation.
Now you don't have to be a die hard viewer of the bachelor to know how the show goes. The majority of the contestants are white, blonde hair, and are looking to amp of their following on Instagram. We see maybe two to four black women and the farthest they get is Top Four Hometown Week. So expected that the winner will be someone who is non-black. I have no problem with interacial relationships but with the current state of society, it looks like James is being set up to be thrown into the fire.The black community sees this as simple pandering during this racial climate. It took eighteen years for the show to cast a black bachelor and fifteen years to cast a black bachelorette.
I would be happy with Matt's casting if it was genuine but it's obvious this was just to save face and handle PR. If they really want to show that you're for diversity, have black presence in your cast of contestants, have black people on your staff, in the producer chair. Don't just cater to the white audience and ignore the people you were trying to appease.