The 28-year-old also spoke about what it means to be the first person of color lead on "The Bachelor." He dubbed the opportunity an "honor," adding, "I’m just going to lean into myself and how my mom raised me and hopefully when people invite me into their homes on Monday night they’re going to see that I’m not much different from them and they see that diverse love stories are beautiful."
He said later in the interview, "In my opinion I don’t think it’s ever the wrong time to do the right thing. Too little too late for me is this happening and we can’t have change until we put that first foot forward and the first foot forward for 'The Bachelor' franchise is having a black lead so I’m excited to take on that role."
Rachel Lindsay, the first and only black Bachelorette, also called into "Good Morning America" to discuss the significance of the announcement. (She also spoke out about diversity in the franchise on an episode of "Bachelor Happy Hour.")
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She said on "GMA", "I was hoping, when I came on, to be a trailblazer for that, and to increase diversity in the audience that watches it and also who comes on the show and who could potentially be the lead. I felt like the franchise had my back in that. But in the last three years, there really haven’t been changes made."
Matt looks forward to the diversity among the women, too. He said, "I’m looking for qualities that my mom embodies, and that’s selfless, honest, caring, compassionate and those are qualities found in women all shapes, sizes and races and it’s not a black or white thing. I’m hoping when that limo pulls up there’s a lot of diversity and I see every type of women coming out of that limo."
The president of ABC Entertainment Karey Burke said in a statement to "GMA," "We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in and we are proudly in service to our audience. 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."
Matt is already a familiar face to many Bachelor Nation fans. He's best friends and roommates with Tyler Cameron and became pals with Hannah Brown when she stayed with them in Florida during part of quarantine.