Matt James Addresses "Negative Depictions of Black Fathers" After Reuniting With His Dad

After reconnecting with his estranged father during The Bachelor's March 8 episode, Matt James posted about the exchange on social media and encouraged viewers to watch "with nuance."

By Ryan Gajewski Mar 09, 2021 3:16 AMTags
Watch: Matt James Addresses Recent Bachelor Nation Controversies

Matt James is speaking out about the tough conversation he shares with his estranged father on The Bachelor.

The 29-year-old reality star took to social media on Monday, March 8 to address the emotional exchange that viewers witnessed earlier in the evening between himself and dad Manny James on the ABC dating series. Matt, who was raised by his mom, said it's tough for fans to watch the chat without knowing the outside factors that may have been involved.

"Tonight's convo with my dad was hard to experience, and it's just as hard to watch all this time later, especially knowing the world is watching with me," Matt posted. "I just wanted to say that too often, we see dangerous stereotypes and negative depictions of Black fathers in media. And they have consequences when presented without context."

He continued, "All I hope is that people watch that conversation with nuance, care and also an understanding that there are real systemic issues at play. I'm so proud of myself for being vulnerable, and I'm so proud of my mother. I wouldn't be who I am without my dad. That's a fact."

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Rachel Lindsay appeared to reference the emotional conversation in posts to her Instagram Story shortly after the episode aired.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

"You guys, I'm breaking my hiatus from talking about The Bachelor in light of what I saw tonight on tonight's episode," she shared. In the post's caption, she wrote that she "can't keep quiet" about the episode's "perpetuation of stereotypes in the black community." 

Race continues to be a major topic of discussion this season. Last month, Chris Harrison announced he was temporarily "stepping aside" from the franchise after defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's controversial past behavior during an interview with Rachel. 

On March 4, Rachel told Extra's Billy Bush she has accepted Chris' apology and that it's "important for me to say that because we need to move forward."