History was made today for The Bachelor nation.
After 18 years and 40 season, the franchise cast its first black male lead. Matt James will look for love on the upcoming 25th season of The Bachelor, which will premiere sometime in 2021 considering the coronavirus pandemic shut down every TV show and film.
But while it’s an exciting day as strides are being made in the right direction, we have to acknowledged that it took 18 years for the series to cast a black male lead.
One has to wonder if the outcome would have been the same if not for the criticism of the franchise’s lack of racial diversity from cast members and the Bachelor Nation. These criticisms only intensified recently due to the protests and riots following George Floyd’s murder as people across the world rallied for racial equality and against injustice, systematic racism, and police brutality.
— The Bachelor (@BachelorABC) June 12, 2020
ABC promised to do better, and it’s a promise we know Bachelor Nation will hold them to.
“We acknowledge our responsibility for the lack of representation of people of color on our franchise and pledge to make significant changes to address this issue moving forward. We are taking positive steps to expand diversity in our cast, in our staff, and most importantly, in the relationships that we show on television. We can and will do better to reflect the world around us and show all of its beautiful love stories,” the statement on the ABC press website wrote.
But to even get to a point where ABC and The Bachelor felt compelled to do something, a fan-created petition calling for racial equality needed to gain more than 86,000 signatures on Change.org.
Rachel Lindsay, the only black female lead on The Bachelorette, penned an emotional blog post calling out the network for the lack of diversity.
“Recently, I have received many questions regarding the headlines stating that I will leave the Bachelor franchise if changes to address the lack of diversity in lead roles are not established,” she wrote. “Yes, more diverse contestants do appear on the show now, but is the lead truly interested and open to dating outside of their race? I think that is evident by how far their ‘journey’ takes them during each season.”
She suggested the series make some changes including casting leads who want to date those of other races, adding more diverse producers, and making contestants of color feel more welcome and “comfortable.”
ABC exec Rob Mills denied that Lindsay’s comments were the reason behind James’ casting and assured they were aware that a lot needed to be done.
“It wasn’t a response to that. We could have made this announcement earlier or later,” Rob told Variety. “Certainly no one is blind to what is happening in the world, so hopefully this announcement serves as a bit of optimism during a time that we can really use this, but I don’t want this to look like we’re patting ourselves on the back or taking a victory lap.”
After James was cast, Lindsay took to Twitter writing: “I am happy to see that a black man was cast after 18 years and 40 seasons. I believe it is a step in the right direction.”
Congrats to Matt James. I am happy to see that a black man was cast after 18 years and 40 seasons. I believe it is a step in the right direction.
— Rachel Lindsay (@TheRachLindsay) June 12, 2020
I would be remiss to not point out that based on the current climate, it feels like a knee-jerk reaction and a result of societal pressure. This announcement, without any further commitments regarding diversity, sweepingly brushes deeper issues under the rug .
— Rachel Lindsay (@TheRachLindsay) June 12, 2020
Until we see action to address the systemic racism within the franchise, the casting news today is equivalent to the trend of posting a black box on your social media account without other steps taken to dismantle the systems of injustice.
— Rachel Lindsay (@TheRachLindsay) June 12, 2020
She then went on to point out what many have been tiptoeing about: “I would be remiss to not point out that based on the current climate, it feels like a knee-jerk reaction and a result of societal pressure. This announcement, without any further commitments regarding diversity, sweepingly brushes deeper issues under the rug. Until we see action to address the systemic racism within the franchise, the casting news today is equivalent to the trend of posting a black box on your social media account without other steps taken to dismantle the systems of injustice. I look forward to hearing more about the additional efforts the franchise plans to make towards change.”
Former Bachelorette Hannah Brown, who is good friends with James, took to Instagram to express her excitement:
“Matt James is the Bachelor. I cannot contain my excitement for this amazing human making history as the first Black Bachelor — to God be the Glory! This man is as good as it gets y’all, and that’s coming from a previous skeptic (lolz). I am so blessed to now call you friend. You’ve supported and encouraged me in some of the hardest moments lately and I’m so freaking pumped to support and encourage you as you get ready to go on an adventure of a lifetime! #1 Matt James fan right here!”
Former Bachelor Peter Weber poked fun at his indecisiveness on season 24 writing: Congrats @mattjames919. Very happy for you and @bachelorabc. “Enjoy the ride, just get it right the first time. It’s easier that way.
Mike Johnson, who was previously in talks to be the first black Bachelor, congratulated James in an Instagram video stating, I just wanna give a huge shout-out to Matt James as the new Bachelor. Congratulations, bro! I definitely [texted] him earlier, but I wanna show him love and shout him out publicly as well.”
He also commended the network and franchise for implementing change: “I wanna give also a huge shout-out to ABC. They listened to us. … I’m giving you guys a shout-out — the fans. Love you guys so much. They listened to you guys. You guys marched and, like, sent all these emails, I’m sure, and tagged Chris [Harrison] and tagged [creator] Mike Fleiss and tagged everybody that be, and they listened to you guys. [I] wanna say give yourself a pat on the back, seriously. That’s amazing. Your guys’ voices are definitely being heard.”
Tyler Cameron posted a photo with James writing: “Congrats to my brother @mattjames919 on being named the Bachelor. This is all a testament of who you are as a person. Now the world gets to see the person you are and the heart you have. You can change the world. Proud of you and so excited for you. Not excited that somebody will be taking my spot as your snuggle buddy.”
James is 28, a current real estate broker, and a former football player.
Earlier this year, The Bachelorette announced Clare Crawley as the upcoming lead. She will be the oldest lead in franchise history. Her season was halted due to the pandemic, so it’s unclear when it will air. Host Chris Harrison said her season would address coronavirus.
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Best Shay Mitchell Movies and TV Shows to Watch
Shay Mitchell has amassed quite a following on social media with her hilarious and relatable TikTok videos, but on-screen is where she delivers the real gold and pours herself into the most challenging roles.
Here are the best movies and TV shows starring Shay Mitchell to add to your must-watch list:
Pretty Little Liars – Freeform
Shay became a household name after bringing Emily Fields to life in the ABC Family/Freeform mystery drama. Emily and her best friends attempted to solve the mystery surrounding their best friend’s disappearance while fielding text messages from a digital stalker at every turn. Shay’s portrayal was also pivotal as it brought to life one of the best LGBTQ characters for the network!
Dollface – Hulu
After being dumped, Jules (Kat Dennings) rekindles her female friendship with Madison (Brenda Song) and the eccentric Stella (Shay) and re-enters the world where your girlfriends trump romantic relationships. Each character brings a certain personality to the series, but Stella is definitely the most vibrant and worldly.
You – Netflix
In its first season of the psychological thriller, Shay tackled the role of Peach Salinger, the best friend of Joe’s (Penn Badgley) first obsession Beck (Elizabeth Lail). And you know that any friend of Beck’s is an enemy of Joe’s.
The Possession of Hannah Grace – Sony Pictures
Shay flexed her horror muscle as cop-turned-morgue worker Megan Reed, who accepts a delivery of a disfigured cadaver during the graveyard shift and is plagued with horrifying visions as she’s possessed by a demonic spirit.
The film revolves around several different mother’s day events, including one with Sandy (Jennifer Aniston), a single mom that finds out her ex-husband is marrying a younger woman, Tina, played by Shay.
7 Hottest Moments Between Thony and Arman on ‘The Cleaning Lady’
Arman and Thony have an intense and electric bond on The Cleaning Lady.
While they let the passion get to them on a few occasions, they’ve mostly kept things PG. So, how can there be so many “hot moments” between them, you ask. Well, good question!
When it comes to these two, it’s not only about the physical connection but the emotional as well. It’s about every longing gaze, stolen glance, and forbidden touch. It’s about all the times Arman helps Thony at his own discretion, and in turn, it’s the loyalty and support she extends to him.
Here are the hottest and steamiest moments between Arman (Adan Canto) and Thony (Elodie Yung) on The Cleaning Lady Season 1!
Not only does Arman spare Thony’s life, but he “hires her” as the cleaning lady in order to justify keeping her alive. He sees something in her that not only piques his interest but also reminds him of himself. When Thony stands up to him at the airport hangar for the first time, she’s setting the scene for their season-long tug-and-pull dynamic. Arman acknowledges that she’s a woman that “commands respect” while noting that he’s “offering that to her.” He also reminds her that as immigrants, they need each other, and she needs him as he can play a huge role in keeping her son alive. It’s a key scene in order to establish the ground rules between these two power players — even if they are told at every turn that they have no power.
When Arman risks his own life to save Thony’s after he realizes he’s basically walked her into a trap, it’s one of the first moments where he admits, subconsciously, that he cares for her. After the explosion, she pays him back for saving her life by saving his, which is when she reveals that there’s much more to her than meets the eye. Arman is impressed with how well she works under pressure, but Thony once again reminds him that it’s a give and take relationship. “You want me to work for you, protect me. Give me the respect I deserve. And if anything happens to me, swear my son will be protected.” He gave her his word… and he never lied.
With Luca dying in her arms, Thony realizes she’s out of options and seeks out Arman and the club, who rushes to her aid and brings her to a private doctor that’s paid off by Hayak. Arman doesn’t just drop Thony off — he carries Luca inside, takes her burden, and sticks around to make sure that she’s okay. While he’s offering a shoulder to cry on, he realizes that he trusts her enough to open up about his past, which reveals that he understands Thony’s predicament all too well as he’s done the unthinkable to protect his family, too. The moment humanizes him in Thony’s eyes and the eyes of the audience. And when he sees that she looks at him with judgment for the career that he chose, it almost seems like he wants to become a better man for her.
When Arman notices that Thony is upset about Luca’s procedure, he comforts her. He allows her to have a full-on breakdown (one of Thony’s only moments of weakness in the series) and cradles her in his arms. And all those heightened emotions lead to a very unexpected yet passionate kiss. I mean… really passionate. You cannot fake that kind of chemistry! Thony stops things before they escalate to the point of no return, but it’s enough to satiate all the fans that have been long shipping the couple.
When Thony informs Arman that she can’t afford the surgery and the liver donor, Arman offers to pay for the surgery, assuring her that he couldn’t have secured a huge deal with Thony’s intel from the FBI. “I’m in too deep now,” he says with an adorable smile, which definitely implies that he’s not just doing this for Luca. However, when Thony mentions that she’ll have to “talk to her husband” who has arrived in the U.S., Arman’s whole demeanor changes. The guy has absolutely no poker face, but it’s because he simply can’t hide himself or his emotions in front of the woman he loves. And while the moment isn’t exactly “hot,” it does reveal just how bad Arman has it for Thony. Plus, he’s still willing to pay for the surgery even with Thony’s husband in the picture, which is admirable.
The kiss right before Luca’s surgery was perfection. Unlike their first make-out session, this kiss was rooted in trust, honesty, and longing. Arman risked everything to get Thony and Luca across the border in a private jet because he cares about her so much and knows he might not have her around for much longer. The kiss is prefaced by a sweet talk where Thony reveals so much happened in Vegas that she’d like to forget, which prompts Arman to suggest, “hopefully, not everything.” “Not everything,” Thony admits.
Arman and Thony are like the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde. In one fell swoop, they worked together to take down Hayak and stole the $6 million from the gun sale after agreeing to help the FBI make the arrests. The action-packed episode didn’t allow for any real romantic moments, but the very fact that they trust each other enough to get into bed with the FBI while pulling one over on FBI at the same speak volumes.
Also, the longing gaze and hang caressing while Thony visits Arman in jail is enough to make fans go crazy waiting for more #Armony (should we make that a ship name?).
Come on, FOX. Give us a second season!
I’m sure there are plenty of other moments I could’ve mentioned — which ones would you add to the list? Weigh in in the comments below!
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