What They Didn’t Tell You About Matt James: ABC’s First Black ‘Bachelor’
After fans created a petition demanding ABC to cast a black ‘Bachelor’ for the upcoming 25th season, they finally delivered. It came as a complete shock that the next leading man is not fan-favorite Mike Johnson, but a new face. Matt James who was slated to be on Clare Crawley’s season before it was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic will take on the leading role.
Matt made headlines when Clare called out people slated to be on her season that were only in it to further their personal careers. This was because he was making videos on Cameo, which rubbed her the wrong way. But, he announced that he was donating his earnings from Cameo to the Robin Hood Foundation which made her clarify that she was not only specifically shading him. Matt’s main goal has always been to help kids and provide them with better opportunities for the future which is what he hoped these donations would lead to.
Matt James Is Best Friends With A ‘Bachelor’ Franchise Heartthrob
The 28-year-old may look a little familiar aside from being hand-selected from the newest season of the show that has yet to start filming. That is because he is best friends with Tyler Cameron, the man that stole all of our hearts on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette. In fact, at one point during the coronavirus pandemic, Hannah, Tyler and Matt were all in a house quarantining together with some of their friends in Florida. Hopefully, they gave Matt some advice to prepare him for this whirlwind of a show. Tyler and Matt met when they were teammates on Wake Forest University’s football team in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Tyler congratulated Matt in an Instagram post for his new leading role and said “Not excited that somebody will be taking my spot as your snuggle buddy.” The pair currently live together in New York City.
He Has A Business Supporting Underprivileged Youth In NYC
The real estate broker, entrepreneur and community organization founder wears many hats. He and Tyler are business partners for ABC Food Tours. This organization offers kids from underprivileged communities the opportunity to experience New York City through a healthy lens including food, wellness and exercise. The children look at him as a big brother and he enjoys providing them with opportunities that might not have been easily accessible to them. Matt himself grew up in a household that was struggling financially as he was being raised by a single mom so he really relates to the children that he is mentoring.
Matt James Joined Black Lives Matter Protests
The Black Lives Matter movement sparked the call for more diversity throughout The Bachelor and the entire franchise. Matt and Tyler joined protests and Tyler said that Matt has been a more serious version of himself in recent weeks due to the uptick in police brutality happening all over the United States. They stood together and have both been using their platforms to talk about this movement and changes that can be made in society to make some real change.
Matt also posted the same BLM protest picture on his page with the caption “This is for everyone who isn’t given the benefit of the doubt.” He said during his Good Morning America appearance that he thinks ABC casting him as The Bachelor is a step in the right direction in terms of becoming more diverse. For him, he hopes his season, set to air in 2021 will pave the way for a lot of “diverse love stories.”
Matt Was An Amazing College Football Player & Had A Short NFL Career
Matt also had a prominent football career and had colleges offering him full scholarships to attend. But he decided to go to Wake Forest so he could stay close to his mom. He had several chances to be on NFL teams but just fell short after suffering injuries. He had short stints with the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints but shifted gears to figure out that he really wanted to work to help others.
Matt’s Relationship With His Mom Is Extremely Solid
He said during his ‘GMA’ appearance that his mom was also finding out with the rest of the world that he is the next ‘Bachelor.’ The reason? He said his mom cannot keep a secret so he did not want to tell her and risk spoiling it for the whole world. If there is one thing we know about The Bachelor franchise, it’s that there is a lot of secrets. His relationship with his mom is very important to him so well will certainly be seeing a lot of her during his season of The Bachelor. The pair have an incredible relationship and it is clear that she helped shape him into the man he is today.
What’s Matt looking for in his future partner? The entrepreneur wants someone that possesses the same qualities as his mom which is caring, compassionate and selfless.
It’s nice to see that ABC listened to what fans of the show wanted in casting Matt James as The Bachelor and he hopes that there will be more diversity in future seasons as well.