Image Credits: (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

As the world discusses ways in which we can better represent diverse people on television, the Bachelor is taking a big step by casting its first black male lead, Matt James, to lead the next season of The Bachelor. In the 24 seasons of the Bachelor and 15 seasons of The Bachelorette, there has only ever been one black lead, Rachel Lindsay. We all know that simply casting a black lead is not going to solve all the problems of the world or even of the franchise, but we’re hopeful that it gets the ball rolling on creating a show that is even more enjoyable to watch and represents the real world diversity we love, and it all starts with our next Bachelor, Matt James. 

So…who is Matt James?

Matt James is 28-year-old real estate broker turned charitable entrepreneur who runs the group ABC Food Tours, an NYC non-profit that helps teach kids about nutrition and exercise and get them excited about the food in their neighborhood. He’s also a former D1 football player, and oh yeah, Tik Tok star along with his long-time friend and current roommate, Tyler Cameron of Bachelorette fame. James is from Raleigh, North Carolina but has been living in NYC for a bit. Did I mention he is 6’5”? 

If you haven’t seen the “Quarantine Crew” Tik Toks, you’re in for a real treat. There’s Matt James, Tyler Cameron, Hannah Brown, and their friends. They’re dancing, pulling pranks, and just living life in these videos. It gives me hope that unlike some past Bachelors (cough Peter cough), Matt will be a little more exciting! He clearly likes to have fun, knows how to perform on camera, and he’s ripped like a Grecian statue, so the ladies are going to love him. 

It certainly helps that Matt James has got a lot going for him outside of his good looks as well.

His work with ABC Food Tours is super admirable. He’s making it in NYC, working as a real estate broker, which we all know isn’t easy. James played wide receiver at Wake Forest and also tried for the NFL, which we know is almost a feeder pool for the Bachelor. According to his LinkedIn he’s also worked for PNC, Morgan Stanley, Veger Capital Management, and Merrill Lynch. At Wake Forest, he got a degree in Economics 

In case you missed it, this is a big deal for another reason: the Bachelor almost always picks their next lead from a previous season, but Matt James has never technically appeared on the show, though he was initially announced as a contestant on the next season of the Bachelorette, which has not filmed yet. Obviously, now that’s off the table, and he’s taking the reins. I think that many long-time watchers of Bachelor Nation knew from the get-go that James was being groomed to be a lead from the second he was cast, and we are grateful. 

And…when can I watch this?

Well, if you haven’t heard, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and the shooting for The Bachelorette with Clare Crawley that was supposed to start in May has been postponed. That will likely shoot ASAP once production is allowed to resume, and then we’ll see it air this fall.Then, Matt James season of the Bachelor will film this fall and air starting in January 2021. I know, it seems like it’s forever away, but we’ve got so much to look forward to! I hope you’ll join me in my excitement to see Matt James as the next Bachelor and show your support by watching and talking about his journey to find love. 

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member