Matt James is the Season 25 Bachelor, and that’s a big freaking deal. Not only is he making history as the first Black Bachelor in the franchise’s 18 years of existence, but he’s also the first guy in 12 years to be tapped as the show’s lead before appearing on the Bachelorette. With these changes — some of them long overdue — fans are hoping Matt James’ Bachelor season shakes things up in ways the franchise has never done before.
Matt was first brought to Bachelor Nation’s attention when fans realized he was BFFs with another franchise fan-fave, Tyler Cameron. In early March, ABC announced Matt as one of the cast members of Clare Crawley’s upcoming season of The Bachelorette (which was delayed due to coronavirus concerns).
However, ABC producers were apparently already eyeing Matt for the Bachelor Season 25 lead role when they cast him as a suitor for Clare. "When we realized the shutdown [of Clare’s season] was going to extend through the summer, we started thinking about how we were going to choose our Bachelor,” ABC exec Rob Mills told Variety. “Matt was somebody who was on our radar and we were thinking about him. We were thinking, ‘Do we announce him early, or do we put him on Clare’s season and then announce him later, if it doesn’t work out with Clare?’"
On June 12, ABC finalized its decision by officially naming Matt as the Bachelor for the next iteration of the show.
Fans are thrilled that the franchise has finally cast its first Black male lead, but many are making it clear that naming Matt the Bachelor is not enough to quell the growing criticisms over the show’s lack of diversity.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Matt addressed these concerns: "I don’t think it’s ever the wrong time to do the right thing," he said. "Hopefully when people invite me into their homes on Monday night, they’re gonna see that I’m not much different from them, and they see that diverse love stories are beautiful."
Here’s what else fans can look forward to in Season 25:
Matt’s ‘Bachelor’ Season Premiere Date
There is no official release date for Matt’s season of The Bachelor. In recent history, Bachelor seasons have premiered at the start of every year, so fans are hopeful for a January 2021 premiere date.
Matt’s ‘Bachelor’ Season Cast
Matt’s Bachelor cast has not yet been announced. Peter Weber’s contestants for Season 24 were announced the month before his season premiered, so Matt’s contestant list could very well be released in December 2020.
Check back for more updates as they come available.
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