Matt James is opening up some more about the difficult conversation he had with his estranged father on the latest episode of The Bachelor.
The 29-year-old reality star took to Twitter on Monday to address the emotional sitdown that viewers witnessed between himself and Manny James on the ABC dating series. In case you missed the episode, James said that he wanted to talk with his dad at the Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania before heading into Fantasy Suites with his final three ladies — Bri Springs, Michelle Young, and Rachael Kirkconnell.
“There’s still a lot of fear about what a long-term commitment looks like based on what I’ve seen in my family in the past. That’s not healthy. That’s not fair to me. It’s not fair to the women I’m pursuing. That’s not something I want to carry with me. Harboring that negativity in my life hasn’t progressed any of my relationships. It’s hindered my growth.”
He then added:
“For me to move forward, I need to address those demons in my life. Hopefully, today’s the first step in doing that.”
The two went on to discuss Manny’s past actions, including him cheating on James’ mom Patty and walking out on his family. At the end of the conversation, the leading man’s father apologized and James deemed it “a great starting point” before adding:
“I’m not him and I don’t have to make the mistakes that he made. We’re different humans.”
Take a little peek into the moment in The Bachelor‘s preview for the final two episodes (below):
James later added some more context and perspective to the discussion on social media, writing:
“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. 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.”
“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.”
Shortly after the episode aired, Rachel Lindsay went on the Bachelor Party podcast to discuss her feelings on the heart-to-heart. As you may know, the 35-year-old TV personality recently broke her social media hiatus after experiencing an uptick in online harassment due to the Chris Harrison racism controversy. In the interview with host Juliet Litman, she said the moment perpetuated typical stereotypes of Black fathers often portrayed by the media:
“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. What’s the one thing we know about his dad? That he wasn’t around. If you know anything about stereotypes that are assigned to particular races, here, the Black race, you know that absentee fathers is a stereotype.”
— Rachel Lindsay (@TheRachLindsay) March 9, 2021
The former attorney went on to explain why the chat should not have aired to the public.
“I know what producers would probably say about this. This conversation may have been necessary for Matt. Maybe Matt did need this, but this was a conversation that should have been just for Matt, not for the rest of the world to see.”
Lindsay then revealed how she knew James didn’t want the meeting to be seen.
“The fact that you were so willing to throw him under the bus and exploit him for stereotypes within the community for what you would call ‘good TV.’ The fact that they cannot see the underlying issues — or you know what’s even worse? Not that they probably can’t see them, they don’t care. I know for a fact — please listen to me when I say this — I know for a fact that Matt was uncomfortable with this conversation and the fact that it was going to be aired.”
Wow… What are some of your thoughts on this, you guys? Let us know in the conversation (below)!