Matt James, the leading man on The Bachelor Season 25, was the first Black Bachelor in the history of the franchise, although he had no idea at the time.
In fact, Matt was originally cast for Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette which was supposed to happen in 2020. But, due to COVID-19 and the pandemic, her season was pushed back.
During that time, production was also deciding on the next Bachelor. Since Matt was one of Tyler Cameron’s best friends and his roommate, he was already known in the franchise.
Therefore, the show decided to name Matt the next Bachelor, even though he had never appeared on a franchise show leading up to that – another first for Matt. However, not everyone was happy with the choice.
Clare Crawley tweeted something about Matt James before knowing the full story
Clare Crawley actually threw shade at Matt back in April of 2020 on Twitter, as she posted, “If you are doing interviews and creating Cameo accounts before you are even on my season … you are in it for the wrong reasons … #dontwasteyourtime.”
While she never mentioned Matt’s name in the tweet, everyone in Bachelor Nation knew who she was talking about, including Matt himself.
However, Matt never responded back to Clare, until recently, when he wrote about it in his new book called First Impressions.
According to US Weekly, Matt wrote in his book about the tweet and Clare, “The sentiment backfired. On Twitter, Bachelor Nation quickly pounced, rushing to point out the worthy cause our work benefitted … I appreciated their support, but it was hard to take any positives away from the tiff.”
He went on to state, “I hadn’t met Clare, yet I still held out hope that, once the world was back up and running, there might be chemistry for us to discover.”
However, because he was announced as The Bachelor that summer of 2020, the two never did cross paths. In fact, Matt included while on the Here for the Right Reasons podcast, “I’ve never spoken to her in my entire life … I had nothing to say [when I first saw her tweet]. I was just like, ‘Dang, that’s crazy!’ I was in shock. I was at a loss for words when I saw that.”
Why did Matt include this story in his book?
Matt relayed to fans why he decided to include this all in his new book, and it wasn’t to throw shade back at Clare. It was so that people could learn from it, and take a lesson that we, as humans, should give people the benefit of the doubt.
Matt talked about how he needed to include that in his book because it was part of his story and, according to him, “very pivotal in my journey. If that wouldn’t have happened, then who knows if I would have become the Bachelor … It was just giving the full context of how I ended up where I did.”
He also said, “So to be judged by her or anybody to judge somebody on what they think about someone without meeting them, I don’t think is the right way to go about getting to know somebody.” To hear all of Matt James’ story, listen to the full episode of the Here for the Right Reasons podcast, here.
The Bachelorette premieres Monday, July 11th, on ABC.