AceShowbiz - Amid criticism over a lack of diversity, "The Bachelor" is making a change. The show announced on Friday, June 12 that real estate broker Matt James will be the next lead in upcoming season 25, marking the first black male to lead the ABC dating show in the franchise's history.
"It's official…your next Bachelor is @mattjames919!" so the popular reality show announced on Instagram. During his appearance on "Good Morning America", Matt revealed that his first reaction when he got the call was, "Does this mean that I don't get to meet [Clare Crawley]? 'Cause I want to meet Clare."
When asked if his casting means a lasting change on the show, the 28-year-old said, "I think this is a step in the right direction. When [Rachel Lindsay] speaks, we listen. She has a very important voice in all of this, being the first black woman, person of colour to have a lead. I think we're all following suit in that conversation, and this is hopefully... the first of many black men to be in the position that I’m in now (sic)."
The announcement was a big surprise for fans since many thought that if "The Bachelor" would have a black lead, that would be Mike Johnson. Mike himself had shared a reaction to it with a video that he uploaded on his Instagram account on Friday.
Looking smiley, the 32-year-old Air Force veteran said, "What's up beautiful people, it's me Mike. I just want to give a huge shout out to Matt James as the new Bachelor. Congratulations bruh. I texted him earlier and show him love and shout him out publicly as well."
He went on saying, "I also want to give a huge shout out to ABC. They listened to us…I'm giving you a shout out as the fans. Love you guys so much. They listened to you guys. Your voices are definitely being heard. Give yourself a pat on the back, seriously, that's amazing."
"Don't feel bad for me at all. I am just so elated," he then told his fans. "I have so many things coming down the pipeline. Just quite honestly, be happy, baby. Don't say nothing bad about my homie. Matt's gonna do a great job… we got a black lead which is an amazing thing."