Matt James pleads with the Bachelor franchise to be more transparent and raw

Matt James
Matt James gets real about the Bachelor franchise. Pic credit: ABC

Matt James was The Bachelor for Season 25 of the show, and he also made history in two ways.

First, Matt was the first-ever Black Bachelor, although he didn’t even know that at the time when he said yes to the gig. Second, he was the first person to be selected for a leading role without having ever previously been on a franchise show.

Because Clare Crawley’s season was put off due to the coronavirus pandemic, Matt didn’t appear when that was supposed to start; thus, producers thought he would make a great lead and asked him to take over that role.

While Matt ended up having success, as he is still with his winner to this day, it didn’t come without a great deal of controversy and heartache. Now, Matt is opening up to talk about how The Bachelor needs to show more raw and vulnerable footage.

What did Matt James reveal in his new book, First Impressions?

In Matt’s new book, he has decided to reveal the missing pieces that Bachelor Nation missed while watching the show because of the production’s choices to leave them out.

Matt also clapped back at the franchise to be more raw and transparent in the future so that the leads don’t feel like they need to write these tell-all books moving forward.

During Us Weekly’s Here for the Right Reasons podcast, Matt stated, speaking out about his race and his family background, “I had already said it, like, I was preparing [to see it] on TV and when I didn’t see it, I’m, like, ‘Dang, I guess it was too raw.’”

He went on to declare, “I guess it was too raw for what they were looking for, which is unfortunate because when you’re vulnerable and you’re open about those things, like, the little bits that they shared that I was very vulnerable, hella people resonated with that.”

Why did Matt say the franchise is losing viewers?

Matt even talked about how Bachelor Nation is losing viewers because they aren’t being real, as he commented, “That’s why you’re seeing people go watch these other shows because, like, they’re not tiptoeing around. How about you double down, Bachelor or Bachelorette, on the realness and you’re straight. It’s frustrating because you’ve got so much good stuff there and you’re fumbling the bag.”

He talked about how maybe in the past the franchise could get away with not being as raw or real, but these days, there have been too many books coming out with the real things that happened and that were filmed but never shown.

Matt exclaimed, “There’s been too many whistleblowers, like, we’re past that. Come on now, let’s be real.”

If you want to read more about this, Matt’s book, First Impressions, came out yesterday, May 3, 2022. Also, to hear the full podcast with Matt, click here.

The Bachelorette premieres Monday, July 11 on ABC.

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