‘The Bachelor’ Matt James Addresses Conversation With His Father


Matt James, this season’s lead of “The Bachelor,” took to Twitter during tonight’s episode to address the conversation he had with his father before heading into fantasy suite dates.

“Tonight’s convo with my dad was hard to experience, and it’s just as hard to watch all this time later, especially knowing the world is watching with me,” James’ Twitter thread began.

During the episode, James — who is the first Black lead of “The Bachelor” — met with his father, who left his family during his childhood. James has been open about his abandonment issues as a result of his father’s actions, which he has said have changed the way he views relationships and commitment. “Harboring that negativity in my life hasn’t progressed any of my relationships; it’s hindered my growth,” James said to his father.

The scene also featured James confronting his father about the infidelity that caused James’ mother to leave his father. Though the conversation led to an apology and forgiveness, James was shaken when it came time to enter his dates for the week.

Seeing the conversation broadcast, James felt the need to put the situation into a larger context, given the current racism controversy involving one of the show’s current contestants, Rachael Kirkconnell, and its host, Chris Harrison.

“I just wanted to say that too often, we see dangerous stereotypes and negative depictions of Black fathers in media. And they have consequences when presented without context,” James wrote, adding a link to an article from The Opportunity Agenda about the topic.

“All I hope is that people watch that conversation with nuance, care, and also an understanding that there are real systemic issues at play,” James wrote. “I’m so proud of myself for being vulnerable, and I’m so proud of my mother. I wouldn’t be who I am without my dad. That’s a fact.”

Following James’ Twitter thread, Rachel Lindsay — who was the first Black “Bachelorette” and initially interviewed Harrison about his defense of Kirkconnell — said on her Instagram story that she would be addressing the episode on The Ringer’s “Bachelor Party” podcast.

“After what I saw tonight… I can’t keep quiet and gotta talk about this @bachelorabc episode and the perpetuation of stereotypes in the Black community.”

ABC did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

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