In the past few weeks, many brands, companies, and lay white people have been falling over themselves to assure everyone that they care about black lives and now understand, in 2020, that black lives matter.
Marvelously, some of these white people/brands/companies have even started to accept that they have power and are responsible for helping create environments where black lives are shown to matter—including in their own institutions.
This brings us to ABC’s long-running dating show The Bachelor. On Friday morning, the network announced that a black man will lead the show for the first time in the reality show’s 25 seasons.
From ABC News:
Throughout “The Bachelor’s” 18-year history, not a single bachelor chosen to lead the franchise has ever been a black man — until now.
On Friday, the show announced that 28-year-old Matt James will star as the Bachelor for the show’s 25th season.
James, a real estate broker, entrepreneur and community organization founder, pointed to the advocacy of Rachel Lindsay—a former Bachelorette and the only black person to ever lead one of the franchise’s shows—for pushing the show to finally make a long-awaited move.
“When Rachel speaks, we listen. She has a very important voice in all this, being the first black woman, person of color, to have a lead,” he said in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America. “I think that we’re all filing suit in that conversation and this is hopefully the first of many black men to be in the position that I’m in right now.”
“I don’t think it’s ever the wrong time to do the right thing,” James added.
But the first and only black Bachelorette is wisely holding her applause for this basic ass late move, which also came after more than 85,000 fans of the show signed a petition calling for it to be more anti-racist, beyond its lead.
“I want producers of color,” Lindsay said in response to the announcement. “I’d like for them to cast leads that are interested in dating outside of their race that aren’t just getting their first-time experience—for the first time—on national TV. I need the acknowledgment of that. Not putting a band-aid over the situation and just saying, ‘Here, we’re going to put this here. Are you happy now?’”
We can’t help but agree. Especially in light of the fact that it took a global uprising against the racist killings of black people for ABC to do the absolute bare minimum and finally throw a bone to the viewers who have been begging for more inclusion in The Bachelor for years.