Did ‘The Bachelor’ Ambush Matt James’ Dad with That Conversation? Fans Are Not Happy

The Bachelor lead, Matt James, had a difficult conversation with his dad on the March 8, 2021 episode. It was such a private moment between father and son that many fans were horrified the producers aired it on national television.

Matt James spoke to his dad during Season 25 Episode 9
‘The Bachelor’ lead Matt James | Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

Matt James’ parents split when ‘The Bachelor’ lead was very young

During The Bachelor Season 25 premiere with Matt James fans found out that his dad and mom split up before he could remember. His mother raised him, but he continually talked about how he missed out on seeing “what it takes to be in a good relationship.” 

So, on March 8, 2021, The Bachelor aired a lengthy conversation between Matt James and his dad. At first, the two seemed happy to reunite; however, the 29-year-old quickly asked his father challenging questions. 

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Matt felt that he was holding things back in past relationships because of his relationship with his dad. So, he thought that he needed to have a tough conversation with his father before moving forward with an engagement. However, Matt ends up crying, and his dad merely wants to celebrate with him. 

Matt James’ dad was ambushed, according to fans

When Matt James’ dad told him they should be celebrating, fans began to wonder how the producers got Manny James to the Nemacolin resort for filming. 

“They def set his dad up,” one fan wrote on Reddit. “They told that man something along the lines of it being something celebratory for Matt. Then they ambushed him into talking about something he clearly didn’t want to talk about on camera.”

Many fans agreed that Matt’s dad believed they could have had that challenging conversation long before that moment.

“This is a lot of generational trauma for national TV,” one Redditor wrote.

Other viewers felt uncomfortable watching the conversation unfold.

“Agree,” wrote another viewer. “I also don’t like that this is the first time they have done this. I’m sure many people have come from broken homes, but they chose to do this for the first Black Bachelor and his Black dad. It’s icky and feels like they are pushing the absent black father stereotype.”

No other seasons of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette brought on an estranged parent to talk to the lead, so fans are not happy with the producers. Some viewers even commented that if it was Matt’s decision, it still should not have aired on TV.

James told Rachael Kirkconnell he felt better after the conversation

Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell
Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell on ‘The Bachelor’ | Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

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Although it was disheartening to watch a very personal moment on TV, fans are happy that Matt James found closure. 

“Having that conversation helped me have clarity,” Matt told contestant Rachael Kirkconnell later. “The big conclusion for me at the end of that conversation was ‘I’m nothing like my dad.'”

Many viewers were “horrified” to see the lead go through such trauma. However, they blame the producers of the show, not Matt.