Matt James is the First Black Lead on ‘The Bachelor’

ABC made the announcement after a petition was signed by thousands of fans

28-year-old Matt James is making history by being ABC’s first black lead on ‘The Bachelor’ in the 18 year history of the show.

Over 86,000 fans signed a petition over the past week calling for ABC to “reflect and honour the racial diversity of our country”. The petition called for a black bachelor to be cast and for the network to have black, indigenous and people of colour make up least 35% of the cast.

Matt James was originally cast as a contestant on the forthcoming season of The Bachelorette starring Clare Crawley, which was postponed due to Covid-19.

The only other black star of the franchise was Rachel Lindsay, who was the star of an episode of the Bachelorette in 2017.

The show currently doesn’t have an air date.

(cover photo via @mattjames919 Instagram)