Posted on September 30, 2021

Matt James Says He ‘100 Percent’ Felt Pressure to Pick a Black Woman on the Bachelor

Dory Jackson, People, September 24, 2021

Needless to say, Matt James‘ journey as the Bachelor was no walk in the park.

On The Ellen DeGeneres Show Friday, guest host Arsenio Hall asked guest James, 29, about the pressures he faced being the ABC franchise’s first Black male lead.

“It was a lot,” the Dancing with the Stars contestant admitted. “On both sides, because, you know, my dad’s Black and my mom’s white.”

Asked whether he felt “pressure” to pick a Black woman in the end, James replied: “One hundred percent.”

“There was pressure on both sides,” he continued. “But ultimately, your heart leads you where love is and that’s what I followed.”

James’ Bachelor season aired earlier this year. Contestants Rachael KirkconnellMichelle Young and Bri Springs made it to the final three.

Though he picked Kirkconnell, who is white, the pair confirmed during the season’s After the Final Rose special in March that they had split after past racially insensitive behavior of hers surfaced online {snip}