The Bachelor: Matt James talks about the pressure of being the first Black lead

Matt James stars on Season 25 of The Bachelor.
Matt James revealed to Emmanuel Acho that being the first at anything comes with challenges. Pic credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin

In a teaser for The Bachelor: After the Final Rose, Matt James sat down with Emmanuel Acho and spoke about the pressure of being the first black lead of the franchise in its 25 seasons on ABC.

“How much pressure was it to be the first Black Bachelor?” asked Emmanuel, who is a former professional football player and the host of the YouTube series Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.

Matt admitted to feeling a lot of pressure to make sure that he was doing everything the right way.

“I know that’s cliche and that’s what most people would say,” he admitted.

“I think that as a Black person there is an extra level of scrutiny when you’re the first at something,” he continued.

Emmanuel asked Matt how he navigated his steps as the depiction of a Black man’s love on television.

Matt came to an important realization throughout the season

Matt responded that he had to realize that his experience on The Bachelor was entirely his own.

He also explained that Black people and biracial people aren’t a monolith.

Most importantly, there has to be more room for these types of conversations moving forward.

The teaser ended with the show advertising that the series will air its explosive conclusion tonight. This will be followed by the After the Final Rose special where the entirety of Matt’s conversation with Emmanuel will be seen as well as intimate discussions with the season’s finalists Rachael Kirkconnell and Michelle Young.

Fans weighed in on his comments

The Bachelor viewers who have watched the on and off drama of the season unfold in real-time. They shared their remarks regarding Matt’s statements in the comments section of the post.

“Hope this stuff doesn’t get edited out. Bachelor nation needs a reality check,” said one fan.

“So tired of the ‘where is Chris Harrison’ comments. I’m a huge fan of this show and enjoyed his hosting. He’s on a leave of absence because he was insensitive,” wrote one follower.

“No woman should support how this man talked to Rachel Lindsay, whether you think what he was saying was valid or not. Shame on you if you think it’s ok for any man to talk to a woman in that manner. Get over it! He’s on a leave of absence doing some reflection, and he may return as a better man with more self-awareness. Allow that process to happen,” they continued.

The Bachelor airs tonight at 8/7c followed by The Bachelor: After the Final Rose at 10/9c on ABC.

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