‘The Bachelor’: Matt James Addresses How the Conversation With His Dad Was Edited; ‘There Are Real Systemic Issues at Play’

The Bachelor Season 25 is fast approaching. But before Matt James could get down on one knee and propose, he felt the need to connect with his dad, Manny James, and confront their complicated past. During “Fantasy Suites,” Matt and Manny James sat down to talk. But when the conversation aired, James stepped up to defend his father because of how The Bachelor portrayed him. 

Matt James, who sat down with his dad Manny James during 'The Bachelor' fantasy suites
Matt James | Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

‘The Bachelor’ details Matt James’ parents and their background 

James’ connection with his mother and strained relationship with his father has been a major focus throughout The Bachelor Season 25. During the premiere, James revealed how his parents split up when he was a child. He was raised by his single mother, who showed him unconditional love. Still, James always felt he didn’t have an understanding of “what it takes to be in a good relationship.” 

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During the “Fantasy Suites” episode of The Bachelor, James sat down with his father to hash those feelings out. Ready to move on and let his anger toward his father go, James started the conversation. “Harboring that negativity in my life hasn’t progressed any of my relationships,” he explained. “It’s hindered my growth, and for me to move forward, I need to address those demons in my life.”

The 29-year-old continued, asking his father some challenging questions. Seemingly caught off guard, James’ dad appeared confused, thinking he was there to celebrate with his son. Ultimately, the conversation ended with Manny apologizing, promising to be better moving forward, and embracing his son. 

The conversation between Matt James and his dad was ‘hard to watch’ 

After James opened up to his dad and detailed how his actions hurt him when he was younger and continued to impact him in the relationships he was forming on the show, he opened up on social media. His feelings about watching the episode mirrored that of many fans. But in the same breath, James defended his father. 

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“I just wanted to say that too often, we see dangerous stereotypes and negative depictions of Black fathers in media,” James continued in another tweet. “And they have consequences when presented without context.” He included a link to “Media Portrayals and Black Male Outcomes” from The Opportunity Agenda for fans to reference. 

Matt James feels ‘showrunners edited ‘The Bachelor’ with ‘systemic issues at play’ 

After providing his followers with a resource, James implied that The Bachelor was edited to make his dad fit an agenda. He concluded by tweeting:

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.

Most fans were outraged with ABC for airing this very personal conversation between James and his dad. “I do think this is shade at ABC!” one fan said of James’ tweet on Reddit. “Good for Matt for standing up for himself and his family. ABC sucks.” Other fans were concerned about how “deep in [James’] head” production got filming season 25 of The Bachelor. “This just makes me really sad for him & even more angry at ABC,” another fan concluded