The Bachelor star Matt James began his journey as the next lead for the franchise on Monday night.
It was a much-anticipated premiere because Matt is the first person of color to ever lead a season of The Bachelor.
For many, it has been a long time coming as the network tended to pick Caucasians to lead a season and they decided to pick Matt as the next Bachelor this past summer after heavy criticism from viewers.
However, Matt had never really experienced any Bachelor-related show, because he’s brand new to the franchise.
Because of that, he revealed Monday night that he felt a tremendous amount of pressure.
Just as he was about to meet the women, he wanted to talk to Chris Harrison. Chris was surprised that Matt wanted to talk to him alone instead of meeting the women, but he took Matt inside to talk.
The Bachelor star Matt James opened up about the pressure he felt
During their talk, Matt admitted to Chris that he had put pressure on himself regarding being the first Black Bachelor. As he revealed, he didn’t want to disappoint anyone.
“My mom is white and my dad is Black, and I experience what it was like to be a product of interracial marriage,” Matt told Chris before he met the women.
“And it’s tough because you’ve got people who have certain views, old-school views on what a relationship and what love looks like. And you’ve got people who are cheering for you to find love. And then you’ve got people who are cheering for you to end up with a specific person, a specific person of a specific race,” Matt explained.
“That’s something that kept me up at night. It’s like, I don’t want to piss off Black people, I don’t want to piss off white people, but I’m both of those. You know what I mean? It’s like, how do I please everybody?”
But for Chris, Matt didn’t need to put so much pressure on himself. He told the new reality star that the most important thing about this process was that Matt found love and came out of this whole experience with joy, peace, and love.
The Bachelor star Matt James was announced as The Bachelor after criticism
ABC decided to announce Matt James as the next Bachelor after he was criticized by Clare Crawley before her season of The Bachelorette was set to film. He had been cast to appear on her season but she didn’t like how “some guys” were using The Bachelorette platform to raise money for charities and to get attention via Cameo.
Matt was one of those guys, but ABC didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. They pulled him from the show and decided to give him the opportunity of a lifetime.
It was on Friday, June 12, 2020, that Matt was announced as the next Bachelor lead. The news came after ABC was highly criticized in the media for not picking any people of color for the lead on The Bachelor.
Throughout the show’s history, only Rachel Lindsay had led The Bachelorette as a person of color. She was very vocal about the show’s lack of diversity.
Around that time, Tyler continued to highlight racism and everything that his friend was exposed to because of the color of his skin.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.