Matt James speaks out about his emotional 'The Bachelor' conversation with his estranged father Manny
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/10/2021
Matt James has spoken out about the heart to heart he had with his father Manny James during Monday night's episode ofThe Bachelorthat left many viewers feeling uncomfortable because the conversation was so personal.
The Bachelor's Season 25 episode that aired on Monday night featured Matt's estranged father Manny showing up at Nemacolin resort in Pennsylvania to have a candid chat with his son, who had narrowed down his cast of bachelorettes to only three women.
Manny seemed to think he was on the show to celebrate Matt's journey to find love, but the father and son's discussion quickly became tense, emotional and hard to watch for many The Bachelor fans.
"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, 29, tweeted during the broadcast.
Matt wrote in a second tweet, "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."
Matt went on to post the link to an article titled "Media Portrayals and Black Male Outcomes" on The Opportunity Agenda website with his followers.
The article discusses "a distorted representation" of the lives of Black males and how "media consumption negatively affects the public's understanding" of those individuals. The article explains those distorted understandings and attitudes towards Black males leads to negative real-world consequences for them."
Matt continued in a third and final Twitter post, "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," he concluded.
Following Monday night's episode, Season 13 The Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay -- who starred as the franchise's first Black leading lady -- expressed her disappointment in the franchise for airing Matt and Manny's gut-wrenching conversation.
"I felt it in my soul -- and I had to speak out about it because I am so disturbed at what I just watched take place on the Bachelor stage -- the conversation between Matt and his father," Rachel said on the "Bachelor Party" podcast, according toUs Weekly."
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Rachel explained, "If The Bachelor franchise has shown us anything, it is that they don't know to protect people of color, they only know how to exploit them. They only know how to mishandle situations when they come to race."
"This conversation may have been necessary for Matt," she continued. "Maybe Matt did need this, but this was a conversation that should have been just for Matt, but for the rest of the world to see it shows that you don't care about your contestants -- specifically the ones of color."
Matt said on The Bachelor he needed to meet with his father in order to feel ready to make a commitment to one woman at the end of the process. Matt apparently feared repeating his father's mistakes and ending up with a failed marriage.
"Harboring that negativity in my life hasn't progressed any of my relationships; it's hindered my growth, and for me to move forward, I need to address those demons in my life," Matt told the cameras.