One moment from the hometown dates episode that captured the attention of, and some criticism from, Bachelor Nation, was Matt’s emotional conversation with his estranged father.
Many viewers expressed that they felt uncomfortable watching the intimate conversation, and Matt reveals that he feels just as uncomfortable.
Matt tweeted about the experience the same night that the episode of The Bachelor aired.
“Tonight’s convo with my dad was hard to experience, and it’s just as hard to watch all this time later, especially knowing the world is watching with me,” Matt tweeted.
“I just wanted to say that too often, we see dangerous stereotypes and negative depictions of Black fathers in media. And they have consequences when presented without context,” he continued.
“All I hope is that people watch that conversation with nuance, care, and also an understanding that there are real systemic issues at play. I’m so proud of myself for being vulnerable, and I’m so proud of my mother. I wouldn’t be who I am without my dad. That’s a fact,” he concluded.
Matt and his father’s history
Matt has been vocal about his contentious relationship with his father, Manny James. Manny and Matt’s mother, Patty Cuculo James, were married and had two sons together, Matt and his brother, John.
Matt’s mother left Manny and took her sons with her after she found out Manny had been unfaithful. Matt was young at the time and didn’t see much of his father after that.
He refers to his dad as an “absent” father and has spoken out about how he’s afraid of becoming his father in a relationship.
It has made him realize that he wants to raise a family in a conventional household, unlike the one he had.
How the conversation with Matt’s dad went
While Matt appeared to be in-the-know and agreed to have a conversation with his dad, that certainly didn’t mean he was going into it open-hearted.
He knew it would be a tough conversation, and it was. Matt held his father accountable and told him he wasn’t there for him growing up.
Manny explained it was because he was hurt by his mother leaving him. Matt then told Manny not to make excuses and that he was actually proud of his mother for standing up for herself and leaving him after he was unfaithful to her.
Even though neither held back any punches, they eventually wound up on the same page. Manny apologized to Matt for not being there for him and Matt accepted his offer of another chance to be in his life.
While the conversation had a positive outcome, Matt was clearly rattled by it and emotionally broke down during a confessional interview.
It’s clear that it is still hard for Matt to re-watch but, as he stated, his father, or lack thereof, shaped him into the man he is today.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.