Just a couple days after the season premiere of The Bachelor, Matt James’ newfound platform as the show’s lead meant many were looking for his thoughts on the riot at the United States Capitol.
One day after the mob attacked the Capitol, James shared a statement (which can be seen in a screenshot here) on his Instagram story. The post read:
“Yesterday, as we watched riots take place inside our Capitol we’re reminded yet again we’re living in two different Americas.
“As a Black man who saw how peaceful protestors were handled this summer, I know a group of Black or Brown rioters would not have been dealt with the same way.
“We need to address the hypocrisy and injustice in our country to set a better example for the next generation. I’m praying for America in 2021, and to say nothing is saying something.”
James, 29, works in commercial real estate and runs a nonprofit in New York City. He’s the first Black man to act as the lead in the 19-year history of The Bachelor.
Several Bachelor Nation Members Shared Thoughts on the Capitol Attack
James is far from the only one on season 25 of The Bachelor who had something to say about the riots in the Capitol. The majority of the contestants on the show shared something, according to Bachelor Data, including the three with the most followers on Instagram: Abigail Heringer, Kit Keenan, and Rachael Kirkconnell.
Additionally, nine of the 15 most followed Bachelor Nation alumni — including JoJo Fletcher, Tayshia Adams, and Kaitlyn Bristowe — posted about the Capitol riots.
Bristowe, 35, went another step further on Saturday, June 9 — three days after the riots — to share her thoughts on the responsibility that popular figures on social media face during such events.
“Guess what. ‘Influencers’ don’t always have the answers,” Bristowe wrote, in part, in an Instagram caption. “People expect so much from people who have an influence, but it’s not always that easy. It’s a big responsibility. Sometimes people speak to protect themselves,and sometimes people don’t speak to marinate. To think. To feel.
“If I’m being completely transparent, I’m having a call tomorrow to educate myself more on the American government as a Canadian. And don’t think ‘let’s all move to Canada,’ because we DEFINITELY have our problems too. White supremacy has always been there, and it’s growing. Let’s just say I’m still NOT surprised by the actions that happened the other night. I don’t have answers. I don’t even know what to say because no matter what it will piss people off. Which I’m never usually worried about. At this point I just have so many emotions that I’m trying to processes. But it’s not about me. Let’s do our research on how to help our black friends while they process.”
Politics & Race Are Now at the Forefront of ‘The Bachelor’
The Bachelor franchise dodged any talk of politics or major social issues for the vast majority of its first two decades on the air, but that’s no longer a feasible option. In the most recent season of The Bachelorette, heavy issues like suicide, eating disorders, drug addiction, and racial inequality were all subjects of discussions during Tayshia Adams’ dates.
In the premiere episode of season 25 of The Bachelor, there was no talk of politics but there were several conversations about the pressure James feels as the franchise’s first Black, male lead.
But talk of political leanings could find their way into the spotlight, especially after recent accusations that Kirkconnell, one of the early frontrunners on the show, has been accused of racist behavior in her past.