American businessperson Matt James has made a place in history by being the first black man on “ABC’s” reality TV show, the “Bachelor.” However, the desirable role came with its challenges, and James recently opened up about the pressure.
During a virtual appearance on “Watch What Happens Live,” with host Andy Cohen, James spoke about his presence on the show and, to his credit, didn’t shy away from the difficult topics.
Cohen made references to the first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, and asked the former football college star if he was pressured to choose a black contestant. Guess what he had to say.
Matt James’ Hurdles With The Show
As the show’s fans will recall, Lindsay’s season ended on the show with her picking Bryan Abasolo, who later became her fiance then husband.
On the show, James shared that being the first black guy on the show came with lots of expectations and pressure, but in those times, he fell back on his upbringing and the qualities he hoped to see in a partner that had nothing to do with race.
He further added that the cast members for his season were so diverse and had most of what he wanted to make his decision so much easier.
A Diamond In The Rough
James also praised the producers and the show’s women cast when he said,
“They did a great job. Across the board what I was looking for, I saw. As the season progresses, it’s very evident that they did their job and did their part to make sure it was everything represented.”
Before his season as a Bachelor, James was initially part of the “ABC” show as a contestant from Clare Crawley’s “Bachelorette” season. However, he was chosen as the new Bachelor before Crawley’s season officially began filming.
A Campaign Against ‘ABC’
In the 40 seasons of the ABC show, there has only been one Blacklead, Lindsay, who threatened she’ll leave the franchise if the show’s producers ignored the call to increase the cast’s diversity and better treatment of the production crew.
A petition called “A Campaign for Anti-Racism on The Bachelor” circulated on social media demanding that the next “Bachelor” cast be a black man.
Asides from being the first black bachelor, James also ticked the boxes for handsome, charming, and even best friends with Tyler Cameron.
Sarah Trott Exits The ‘Bachelor’ Show
As the season progressed, Sarah Trott, a contestant on the show, said goodbye to James as she exited the show.
Trott and James connected during her time on the show and went on a one-on-one date. She exited the show because she felt compelled to be home with her father, who has ALS.
The other castmates also influenced her decision on the show, who were angry at her for hoarding James to herself during a group date. She also opened up to James about being viciously victimized by the supposedly “cruel and malicious” castmates.