Popular dating show The Bachelor revealed that Matt James was cast as the male lead for the coming season.
The ABC series shared the news with fans on Friday and this makes James the first black male to be casted as the lead on the series.
According to reports James was originally cast on Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette just months ago, but production was put on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s official…your next Bachelor is @mattjames919!” the Bachelor Instagram account shared.
James’ casting comes years after fans had been urging The Bachelor to cast a Black male lead. In 2017, Rachel Lindsay made history by becoming the first, and until now, only black Bachelorette.
According to reports, James is a 28-year-old real estate broker that has been on the radar for the shows production team for quite some time.
According to the Hollywood Reporter president of ABC Entertainment Karey Burke spoke out about James’ casting on Friday, sharing, “Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season. When filming couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor.”
Fans took to Twitter when the news broke.
— Kelci (@Kelskiii7) June 12, 2020
I am excited for Matt James and am a huge fan of his But ABC is using him as a pawn in todays climate They had 18 years to makes changes this isnt a trend for corps to make surface level changes They need to fix inside operations before letting Matt to take the fall #TheBachelor
— Alyssa Adriano (@aalllyyssssa) June 12, 2020
Shoot might as well…
— Val ⚜️🐻 (@valerie_galery) June 12, 2020
I couldn’t love this more! But I feel like we needed some type of statement along of the lines of, “We are part of the problem. There’s no excuse for having 40 seasons and only 1 lead of color. We vow to change starting now. Here’s your new bachelor.”
— Tiffany (@tiffany_peak) June 12, 2020
The 25th season of The Bachelor is scheduled to air in 2021.