We're only two weeks into Matt James taking the lead on The Bachelor, but his history-making turn as rose-giver extraordinaire already has people taking about so much more than the intense drama on screen. While we've definitely been treated to some back-stabbing, laughs, tears, and a scary ATV crash, one thing people really can't stop talking about is whether or not our First Black Bachelor will choose a woman of color at the end. There are some fans in Bachelor Nation who think that he'll pick a white woman to propose to in the final moments, and now Matt James has spoken out about why those rumors are so "frustrating" for him.
Matt has been making the rounds lately so that he can talk about his time on The Bachelor, which actually finished filming several weeks ago. He made a recent appearance on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast with hosts (and former Bachelorettes) Becca Kufrin and Rachel Lindsay, and when asked about the rumor that he's absolutely going to find a white woman to be his forever love, had this to say:
It's low-key frustrating to even have to address it. Because, first off, people should, regardless of what they look like, want you to be happy with whoever you’re with. And, if you knew anything about me, if you were close to me, you would know that the last women that I dated were all black women.
OK, so here's how this rumor that Matt was destined to pick a white woman really got started in the first place. During his season premiere, before Matt met any of his potential fiancées, he sat down with Bachelor host Chris Harrison and talked about the pressure he felt from being the first black man to lead the franchise. He talked to Chris about not wanting to upset anyone with his final choice, with it being intimated that he felt black fans were hoping he'd pick a black woman. This made many viewers believe he was sending a word of warning to let us all know that he has no intention of doing that.
What Matt seems to have said with his interview, though, is that he didn't go into this experience with any set goal of picking a white woman, and he also wasn't trying to make it seem like that was what he was really looking for, either. From what we've seen of how Matt has conducted himself so far, he does appear to be getting to know everyone with equal gusto.
Matt also noted that the cast of The Bachelor this season is multicultural, because that's how he's always dated in real life. He added:
Like you saw on night one, there were white women there, there were black women there, there were Asian women there. Those are the women I've dated across the board. What I’m looking for may upset somebody. What I’m looking for isn’t a race. I don’t only exclusively date black women. I don’t only exclusively date white women. I’ve dated all across the board, and I’ve found redeeming qualities in everybody, which is a blessing, and that’s why it’s so difficult for me throughout this season...I [was] trying to explain that to everyone else tuning in, because that might not be their experience.
The truth is that whatever Matt's intentions on Season 25 of The Bachelor, there are still going to be people who may be disappointed with his ultimate choice, and it might be because of the woman's race. There's really nothing he can do about that, and many fans truly just want him to continue to give everyone a fair shot and, as Matt said, find someone he's happy with who is also happy with him.
We can all watch how Matt's journey to true love unfolds every Monday, when The Bachelor airs on ABC at 8 p.m. EST.