A social media following has become increasingly important to the franchise’s cast as many contestants transition into being social media influencers following their time on the show.
Rachel Lindsay, the only other Black lead in the reality show’s history, currently sits at 912 thousand followers. Comparatively, former Bachelorettes Andi Dorfman, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Jojo Fletcher, Becca Kufrin and Hannah Brown have all met or exceeded the 1 million mark.
While it has yet to be seen how many followers Matt James will add after appearing as the Bachelor, he is currently going into his season with 458 thousand followers. Other popular Black players such as Mike Johnson, Katie Morton, Eric Bigger and Kenny King have yet to get anywhere near 1 million.
The Show Has Been Accused of Lacking Diversity
On the heels of the Black Lives Matter resurgence, fans and alum of the popular dating franchise called out the successful show for its lack of diversity.
Adams is stepping in as a replacement Bachelorette following Clare Crawley’s exit, serving as only the second Black lead of the franchise. James is going to be the third, announced following a petition calling for the show to cast its first Black Bachelor.
The petition, which has more than 160 thousand signers, called not only for a Black Bachelor but also for greater representation in the cast and crew, as well as more equitable screen time.
During a statement following James’ announcement, ABC president Karey Burke said, “This is just the beginning, and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise. We feel so privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor and we cannot wait to embark on this journey with him,” the statement concludes.
Adams Is a Veteran of the Franchise
Fans of the franchise have become very familiar with Adams. She first appeared on Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor, revealing to him that she is divorced. During season six of Bachelor in Paradise, Adams dated John Paul Jones. While they left the beach alone, they revealed they reconciled during the After the Final Rose special, only to break up permanently weeks later.
She now co-hosts the Bachelor Nation podcast Click Bait with Hannah Ann Sluss and Joe Amabile. The show focuses on popular culture.
While Adams stepped out of the limo during the last episode, Tuesday will be when her journey for love begins.