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Bachelor Nation Stars React to Matt James as Bachelor: Tyler Cameron, Hannah Brown and More

They approve! Tyler CameronHannah Brown and more Bachelor Nation stars responded to newcomer Matt James being named as the first black Bachelor on June 12. The season 25 leading man was originally cast as a Bachelorette contestant for Clare Crawley’s season but technically has never appeared in the franchise … yet.

“It’s an honor, you know,” Matt said on Good Morning America following the big announcement. “I’m just going to lean into myself and how my mom raised me. Hopefully, when people invite me into their homes on Monday night, they’ll see I’m not much different than them and see diverse love stories are beautiful.”

Bachelor Matt James Smiles in Orange White and Blue Sweater
Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

The North Carolina native also praised Rachel Lindsay, who was the first black Bachelorette during season 13, for advocating for more diversity in the franchise. 

“When Rachel speaks, we listen. She’s got a very important voice being the first black woman, person of color, to have a lead,” he expressed. “So, I think we’re all following suit in that conversation and this is hopefully the first — this is the first of many black men to be in the position I’m in now.”

The commercial real estate guru continued, “I don’t think it’s ever the wrong time to do the right thing … We can’t have change until you put that first foot forward and that first foot forward for the Bachelor franchise is having a black lead, so [I’m] excited to take on that role.”

This means he will not be vying for the Sacramento native’s heart as originally planned but he’s “looking forward to meeting [Clare] eventually.” As far as what type of woman he’s in the market for, Matt said he’s “looking for qualities” that his “mom embodies,” which includes someone who is “selfless, honest, caring [and] compassionate.” 

The former football player added, “Those are qualities found in women all shape, sizes and races, and it’s not a black or white thing. So, I’m hoping that when that limo pulls up there is a lot of diversity, and I see every type of woman coming out of that limo.”

See what Bachelor Nation is saying about Matt James as the Bachelor!