Earlier today, the big news was confirmed on Good Morning America that Matt James is the new star of The Bachelor. This makes him the first Black male lead in the history of the franchise, and it also comes after tremendous criticism hit the show over its lack of diversity.
Is it good that producers actually mentioned in this instance? Sure, but it’s really just the first step of many and if they stop here, that is far from enough. That was the real concern after the announcement, especially since over the past two weeks, we’ve heard a lot of radio silence on the subject of whether or not the franchise was looking for more inclusion. There needs to be more diversity behind the scenes, let alone in the casting. There have been jokes aplenty about how a good 80-85% of various casts all look reasonably similar to one another.
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So following the casting of James, the franchise did speak out today in a statement via one of their producers. In this, they made it clear that Clare Crawley will still be the next Bachelorette (her season could premiere this fall), but Matt will have his season coming up, as well. They also made it clear that they plan to take “positive steps to expand diversity in [their] cast” and also in the staff and the “relationships that [they] show on television.” This is not a process that we may see right away (it can take time), but it’s something that we need to see. Otherwise, the words just feel hollow.
At this point, we hope that there are at least some around Bachelor Nation, including some former cast members, who will work in order to keep some of the powers-that-be accountable. That may be the only way that we can really get to real change.
Related News – Be sure to get more news on Matt James’ hire
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This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.