The Bachelor alum Matt James is sharing his experience on the show through his new memoir, First Impressions: Conversations With a Bachelor on Race, Family, and Forgiveness.

James was the ABC’s The Bachelor‘s first black leading man, meant to break off the homogeneity of the show that had only cast white men as the lead. Despite the effort of the producers to be more inclusive, the Bachelor alum claimed that they still shied away from airing conversations addressing race.

“I understand it, but that’s the kind of things that happens when you bring people of color into your space,” he wrote. “If they’re not willing to have that conversation, they should strongly consider not going there in the first place. There are things about being Black that people who aren’t Black can never understand. It’s too much for them to handle. But it’s my life.”

He continued, “I knew what I was signing up for. It wasn’t the right audience. My message was not the one that ‘The Bachelor’ was trying to promote across their franchise, which is fine. That’s on me.”


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Many fans on social media were not impressed with James’ comments

“Matt James has a lot of nerve to be talking about the bachelor being racist (duh we know) when the call is very clearly coming from inside the house in this case,” one user wrote on Twitter.

Others still hope that the book will give more insight about the details of racist behaviors in the prominent series.

“I didn’t want to use that story for people to engage with my book,” James said. “There will be another Bachelor, and there will probably be ani-the Black Bachelor, and there will be another tell-all book. I wasn’t interested in that. If that’s what interest fans, and that outweighs the personal thing I want to share, then my book isn’t for them.”

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