Entertainment

ABC’s ‘The Bachelor’ Is Black

After 24 Seasons, The Bachelor has finally cast its first Black male lead.

Since the launch of its series in 2002, the ABC hit series has remained stagnant in its efforts to introduce diversity into its series and cast. Throughout its history, the series has remained overwhelmingly white. The franchise as a whole has featured numerous blondes and size 0 fitness models, men with tapered waists and also (again) blonde hair but has come up severely short when it comes to featuring people of color and different sizes. In its entire history, only one black person took the lead and that was in its sister spinoff, The Bachelorette. And that was three years ago.

But, at least for the time being, that’s changing.

For the first time in Bachelor history, fans will see their very first Black Bachelor.

Matt James is a 28-year-old real estate broker, entrepreneur, and community organizer who reportedly carved out a clear path as a favorite during his time on Clare Crawley’s currently delayed season of “The Bachelorette.” The decision to cast James as The Bachelor came heavy on the heels of protests against racism across the United States (which was sparked by the recent murders of police victims like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd) and demands for a change from leading programmers and production studios.

In a statement about the decision to cast James as the lead ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke explained that “Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season. When filming couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor.”

The statement concluded with an emphasis on the fact that James’s casting is meant to be “just the beginning, and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise.”

According to Rachel Lindsay, The Bachelor Nation’s first Black lead, James’s casting could have come sooner.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CA6dpSyHy8p/

The lawyer and reality show favorite has been vocal since her time on the series about her lack of enthusiasm for the way the series has continued. After all, soon after her series was done it seemed ABC made little effort to bring more diversity to its series.

“I was hoping when I came on to be a trailblazer for that and to increase diversity in the audience that watches it. But in the last three years, there really haven’t been changes made,” Rachel explained in an interview soon after learning about James’s casting. “I want producers of color. I’d like for them to cast leads that are interested in dating outside of their race that aren’t just getting their first-time experience — for the first time — on national TV.”

Fans of Lindsay and the series were quick to echo her statements on Twitter.

Soon after her statements were made, fans created a petition on Change.org demanding that the franchise admits to promoting anti-racism on the show. So far the petition has accumulated over 93K signatures. The petition calls for

“ABC and Warner Bros. have been producing Bachelor content for 18 years, the petition reads on the Change.org website. “During that time they’ve cast 40 season leads, yet only one Black lead. This is unacceptable. As creators of one of the most popular and influential franchises on television, ABC and Warner Bros. have an opportunity and responsibility to feature Black, Indigenous, People of Color (“BIPOC”) relationships, families, and storylines. The franchise, and all those who represent it, should reflect and honor the racial diversity of our country–both in front of and behind the camera. Representation matters, and it is one of the most important ways our country can embrace its diversity and evolve.”

The petition goes on to call on ABC and Warner Bros. to take the following actions to combat racism and lists a number of actions points including: casting a Black bachelor as Season 25 lead, casting BIPOC for at least 35% of contestants each season moving forward, giving equitable screen time to BIPOC contestants, actively supporting BIPOC cast, including providing mental health resources specifically geared to helping them navigate the Bachelor franchise experience as BIPOC, ensuring equitably compensation and hiring more BIPOC employees in all parts of production, casting, and filming.

Here’s hoping the casting of James and the circulation of the petition spark real change within the walls of ABC and motivate its creators to align themselves with a message opposite of what they’ve been at the very least passively promoting for years: that Black people and other POC deserve love too.

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Ben Affleck & Marc Anthony Spoke Frankly About J.LO And My Nostalgic Aughts-Self Is Giving A Toast

Entertainment

Ben Affleck & Marc Anthony Spoke Frankly About J.LO And My Nostalgic Aughts-Self Is Giving A Toast

Sony Pictures

No doubt, as the Latina Queen of Hollywood, Jennifer Lopez has played the better half of quite a few relationships and not just on-screen. From Diddy, formerly known as Puff Daddy and P Diddy, to Casper Smart Lopez has been The Strong Woman behind some pretty well-known men.

Her exes Marc Anthony (whom J.L o shares twins Emme and Max, 13 with) and Ben Affleck know it, and in a recent interview, they opened up about what they really think of her.

For her recent May cover of InStyle magazine, Lopez’s feature story included insights from her former loves Anthony and Affleck on everything from her drive to her ageless beauty.

In honor of the singer and actor’s 30-year run in the entertainment industry, the magazine featured her and her most prolific exes. For the interview, both Anthony and Affleck commented on Lopez’s character, heart, and business savvy. “The thing about Jennifer is her ability to see and understand things before they happen,” Anthony, explained in his interview.

Anthony, a singer and actor who starred in the 2001 film In the Time of the Butterflies was married to Lopez from 2004 to 2014.

“Before she even brings an idea up, she has visualized it a thousand times. And if anyone says it might not be the greatest idea, she’ll say, ‘You just don’t see it yet.’ Nine times out of 10, she’ll nail it. She’s the first one in the room and the last to leave. The hardest worker I’ve ever met,” Anthony went onto share. “When we were together, it was quite the opposite for me. That has changed since. I learned so much from her. She’s the original!”

Affleck who dated J.LO in 2002 and starred alongside her in the films “Gigli” and “Jersey Girl” also spoke openly about Lopez.

“I thought I had a good work ethic, but I was completely humbled and blown away by what she was committed to doing day in and day out, the seriousness in which she took her work, the quiet and dedicated way she went about accomplishing her goals, and then how she would go back and redouble her efforts,” Affleck, whose romance with Lopez earned him the other part of the nickname “Bennifer” by the media, explained.

“She remains, to this day, the hardest-working person I’ve come across in this business,” he revealed, “She has great talent, but she has also worked very hard for her success, and I’m so happy for her that she seems, at long last, to be getting the credit she deserves.”

At one point Affleck commented, relatably, that he felt J.Lo appeared as if she hadn’t aged since they dated.

“Where are you keeping the fountain of youth? Why do you look the same as you did in 2003 and it kind of looks like I’m in my 40s…at best?” he joked.

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Amanda Gorman’s Mom Helping Her Do Her Hair For Her Vogue Cover Is The Sweetest Thing Ever

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Amanda Gorman’s Mom Helping Her Do Her Hair For Her Vogue Cover Is The Sweetest Thing Ever

Pool / Getty

After captivating the world with her performance at the 2021 presidential inauguration, Amanda Gorman has continue to be praised. She was featured in Time Magazines’s Black Renaissance issue, named one of People’s Women Changing the World, and her outfit was copied by a little boy.

Now, she’s gracing the cover of Vogue.

In a series shot by Annie Leibovitz, Gorman wore shoulder-length Senegalese twists.

In a post shared to her Instagram page, Gorman celebrated the new cover by thanking her Vogue beauty team, which included her own mom. “Special thanks to my mom who helped with hair on-set,” she said in her caption.

There’s no denying that the poet Amanda Gorman is a trendsetter. As the nation’s first-ever youth poet laureate, she stunned the world with her words, grace, poise, and style during the inauguration. Amongst the millions watching her, one little boy, in particular, was paying attention.

Jeremy Rowan, 7, had a chance to dress as his idol for his school’s Spirit Day and picked Gorman as his inspiration.

In an interview with TODAY Parents, Jeremy’s mom, Kimberly Rowan explained that “He really looks up to Amanda — she is such a strong youth leader and role model.” Kimberly shared the image of her son to Twitter with a caption that explained “This little guy chose to dress as Amanda Gorman for “Dress as Your Idol” day at (remote) school. Thank you @TheAmandaGorman for inspiring all of our children to change the world!”

“He said he was dressing as Amanda since he was really enjoying reading her biography and writing a report about her life and poetry,” Kimberly Rowan explained to TODAY Parents. “And when it came to finding the outfit, he knew right where to look: in his closet, the costume box and beyond. He had a blast coming up with the costume.”

Jeremy wore a red microfiber cloth pinned to his hair to copy Gorman’s red headband. He also wore a puffy yellow jacket and wrote about Gorman for his writing class’s biography project. For the assignment, he researched Gorman and wrote his own version of her life story.

His tribute ultimately caught the eye of Gorman.

According to Jeremy’s mother Amanda “replied, writing that she wanted to dress as him for her idol… I was floored.” Gorman also reached out to Jeremy’s mother and asked if she could post the story and photo on social media in honor of World Poetry Day on March 21.

“We were honored, and are still stunned really, by this reaction,” Rowan went onto share. “Then she sent us a beautiful video telling Jeremy how great his photo was. It is really such a special moment for him and I know it will shape who he becomes… The love from Amanda and the world has reaffirmed his choice in dressing as her. I believe this will allow him to continue to make bold choices in the future without the fear that others may react negatively.”

Speaking about Jeremy, Rowan shared that what he liked the most about Amanda Gorman was her use of hands.

“He has said she recites her poetry like it’s a song and uses her hands like she is translating it into sign language,” Rowan explained. “In the conclusion of his biography he wrote, ‘I learned that Amanda Gorman is incredible because she knows that poetry is like using your words (to express your feelings and emotions).'”

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