She made history as the first Black Bachelorette, and now Rachel Lindsay is offering Matt James some advice.
James will be the first Black Bachelor when Season 25 airs in 2021.
“Extra” caught up with Rachel, who offered this advice: “I would just encourage him to always trust his gut, know who he is, and stick with that, and don’t lose yourself in this process because it is very easy to do.” Watch!
The big news was announced Friday on “Good Morning America.”
During an interview with the show, James said his casting was “a step in the right direction.”
When asked if his casting felt “too little, too late,” Matt answered, “I don't think it's ever the wrong time to do the right thing. Too little, too late for me is this happening and we can't have change until we put that first foot forward, and that first forward for the 'Bachelor' franchise is having a Black lead. So, I'm excited to take on that role."
As for his mom’s reaction to the news, which he kept secret, Matt shared, “She's going to be excited. I'm sorry, Mom, but it's hard for her to keep a secret, so I had to keep it super tight. She's just now finding out, which is kind of a fun way for everyone to participate."
James also opened up about his own reaction to getting the call to become the first Black "Bachelor." He revealed, “My first reaction was, 'Does this mean I don't get to meet Clare?' Because I was looking forward to meeting her. I had set aside all this time, we had gone out to California and then called back with quarantine. So, I'm super excited for her and her season, but I'm looking forward to meeting her eventually."
The 28-year-old real estate agent is a familiar face to many since he’s a close friend of fellow “Bachelorette” favorite Tyler Cameron.
James wrote that he was “blessed and honored” about the opportunity in response to an Instagram Story from Cameron, who was there when the news was announced.
Matt also praised Rachel for expressing the need for more diversity on the show.
James insisted, “When Rachel speaks, we listen. She has a very important voice in all of this being the first Black woman, person of color, to have a lead. So, I think that we're all following suit in that conversation and this is hopefully the first of many Black men to be in this position that I'm in now."
Mike Johnson, one of the favorites on Hannah Brown's season of "The Bachelorette," approved of Matt's casting. Giving a shout-out to ABC, he said, "They listened to us."
He added, "Don't feel bad for me at all. I am so elated. I have so many things coming... Just be happy, don't say anything about my homie. Matt is going to do a great job and just know that we got a Black lead, which is an amazing thing."