By Zach Johnson
After meeting Matt James as a prospective suitor for Clare Crawley’s upcoming season of ABC’s The Bachelorette, thousands of fans swooned over the would-be cast member. He is the total package, with strong family values and a great career—and, over the past few months, he has used his growing platform for good. Today, James announced on Good Morning America that he will take on the role as the lead of his own love story when he stars in the momentous 25th season of ABC’s hit romance reality series The Bachelor.
While much of Bachelor Nation has fallen in love with him already, many will meet the 28-year-old real estate broker, entrepreneur, and community organization founder on his journey to find love for the first time. The North Carolina native went to Wake Forest University, where he majored in economics and played wide receiver for the football team. He went on to play professional football, before moving to New York City, where he now resides. His love of food and passion for giving back led to his creation of an organization that is designed to find creative ways to engage kids from underserved communities in New York City, encouraging physical and mental wellness, while also giving them opportunities for new experiences throughout the city.
“Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment. “When filming couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor. We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in, and we are proudly in service to our audience. This is just the beginning, and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise. We feel so privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor and we cannot wait to embark on this journey with him.”
Season 25 of The Bachelor is scheduled to premiere in 2021. Hosted by Chris Harrison, The Bachelor is a production of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton, Nicole Woods, Bennett Graebner, Peter Gust, Tim Warner, Louis Caric, and Peter Geist are the executive producers.