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.

A Black Transgender Woman Was Killed On The Last Day Of Pride

Things That Matter

A Black Transgender Woman Was Killed On The Last Day Of Pride

@astoldbymelly/ Twitter

We’re now almost halfway through 2020 and the statistics tallying the number of murders that have occurred this year in the trans community are alarming. Sadly when it came to the sacred month of Pride the trans community did not receive a break in these numbers, unfortunately.

A community in Dallas, Texas is currently coming to terms with the death of 22-year-old Merci Mack a Black transg woman whose body was discovered in Dallas on the final day of Pride.

Mack, whose body was discovered in a parking lot, is at least the 18th trans person to be killed in 2020.

According to reports, Mack’s body was discovered at 6:15 a.m and had sustained gunshot wounds. She was found in a parking lot of the Rosemont Apartments located in South Dallas. After her body was discovered, residents at the apartment claimed to police that they heard shots fired an hour beforehand. According to the Dallas Police Department, they never received a 911 about the incident. By the time an emergency response team came to the scene, Mack was dead.

Despite being an openly trans woman, reports by law enforcement and the local media deadnamed her.

The lack of support in using the deadnames of trans people has earned the ire of The Associated Press Stylebook  GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). AP urges reporters to use “use the name by which a transgender person now lives” and HRC has published trans reporting guidelines for police and members of the media. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson for the department has said that their “hearts go out to the grieving family who are trying to cope with the loss of their love one… Our detectives, as with all murders, are working diligently to find the perpetrator to this horrible crime.”

In response to Mack’s tragic death, LGBTQ+ groups have released statements honoring her life and legacy.

“Another Black transgender woman has had her life stolen from her,” Tori Cooper, a director of community engagement for HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative stated an interview. “We cannot become numb to the fact that our community has learned of more killings of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the past few weeks than HRC has ever tracked in the past seven years.”

Mack is at least the 11th trans person to die since 2017 in Texas because of violence. Almost all of them have been Black women. Most recently, in May of this year, Helle Jae O’Regan was stabbed to death while at a barbershop in San Antonio.

Latinas talk “Imposter Syndrome”

Entertainment

Latinas talk “Imposter Syndrome”

Oli Scarff / Getty

Imposter syndrome. It may happen when you finally got accepted to college and have found yourself overwhelmed by the student body, or when you accepted that dream job, or even while doing your job. It can happen in relationships, in friendships. Basically anywhere and amongst us Latinas too. Even despite our hard work and much-earned credentials.

We wanted to talk about Imposter’s Syndrome and how to deal with it, so we reached out to our FIERCE audience on Instagram for their thoughts.

Latinas got real with their responses about feeling as if they were undeserving.

Check them out below!

Remind yourself that you’ve worked hard and are deserving.

“Thank you for posting this! I actually just got hired on as a school counselor and I’m feeling this intensely right now. I have to keep reminding myself that I worked so hard for this and that I AM WORTH IT!” – adelitafamania

Understand that anything can trigger it.

“It happens to me every single day on so many levels. It’s been holding me back my whole life and I keep pushing against it, some days it gets the better of me but I won’t give up on myself even when I really feel I’m not capable. I get so stressed all the time thinking someone is going to discover that I’m not smart, or fun, or whatever it is at that moment that I shut down. It’s so good to openly discuss it with friends or even professional help.” – pinatapink

And it can lead to social anxiety.

“This is so hard, I feel like this nearly every day. Lately, it’s been getting in the way of my entire purpose and whether or not I want to work hard at all. I tend to think, “Like for what? I don’t deserve to have the things I want because I didn’t work hard enough.” Yet, I did. Probably more than anyone else in my programs, jobs, teams, even my friend group. This is so tough and often it leads to my social anxiety which affects a whole multitude of behavioral patterns like procrastination and chronic lateness.” –curlsofroses

But you can battle it by not shrugging off your achievements.

“Happens to me all the time. And when people give me praise I tend to say “oh it’s not a big deal.” But I’m trying to remember that I’m enough and hell yeah I’m a big deal.” – erika_kiks18

Because it can happen to brain surgeons and Fortune 500 CEOs too.

“Our country and our community has been through a lot since the middle of March. Now more than ever is the time to nourish our goals and inspirations. In my podcast, I bring together some of the highest achieving Latinos that our country has to offer: Dr. Quinoñes-Hinojosa: who went from migrant farm worker to a world-renowned brain surgeon
Hector Ruiz: one of the very few Latinos to be a Fortune 500 CEO of an American Company Louis Barajas: the #1 financial Latino expert in the USA. (He is most likely your favorite Reggaeton artist’s to-go financial guy.)
Cesar Garcia: an actor who has seen. dozens of times in music videos, shows, and movies. He’s known for his roles in Fast and Furious and Breaking Bad. Chef Aarón Sánchez: The most well-known Latin Chef in the country. Find an episode that catches your attention or share an episode to a friend of loved one that would like to hear from other Latinos on how they achieved their dreams and goals.” – trailblazinglatinospodcast

And you can cure it by not reminding yourself to not give weight to other people’s thoughts.

“I cured mine by not giving a fck! The enemy is a LIEEEE.” –stephaniesaraii

And last but not least, know that it can be hard to defeat but you ARE worthy.

“This was me on the first day after I transferred to University. The feeling still follows me sometimes. It hard to defeat.” – dianalajandre