On Friday morning, ABC announced on Good Morning America that their next star of The Bachelor would be 28-year-old Matt James, an African-American real estate broker, entrepreneur and community organization founder from New York City.

Matt James was originally scheduled to be a contestant on this season of The Bachelorette, but production was placed on indefinite hold in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Said ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, “Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare [Crawley]’s season. 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.”

The next season of The Bachelor is scheduled for 2021.

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