LOS ANGELES, Calif. – For the first time in its 18-year run, “The Bachelor” has named a black leading man.
The reality show announced Friday that 28-year-old Matt James will star as the bachelor for the 25th season.
It's official...your next Bachelor is @mattjames919! pic.twitter.com/KpBFdtD54Y
— The Bachelor (@BachelorABC) June 12, 2020
Good Morning America reports that James was originally cast as a suitor on Clare Crawley’s upcoming season of “The Bachelorette,” which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ABC hopes to air Crawley’s season of “The Bachelorette” this fall, with James making his debut on “The Bachelor” afterwards in 2021.
GMA says James is a real estate broker, entrepreneur and community organization founder. The North Carolina native graduated from Wake Forest University, where he majored in economics and played football.
James also seems to be friends with former contestants Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron, who both appear on his Instagram page.
The casting announcement comes after years of fans demanding diversity and just days after the franchise’s first black bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, said she would cut ties with the show if a black bachelor was not cast, Variety reports.