James faces an "impossible role" as the first Black Bachelor, says Andrea Reindl. "To the casual viewer, casting James as the Bachelor might seem like a no-brainer: He is smart, accomplished, hardworking, athletically gifted, philanthropically inclined, and most importantly, incredibly handsome," says Reindl. "Why then, did it take 38 seasons and 25 leads for ABC and Warner Bros. TV to finally cave? The answer to that question becomes more obvious on a close watch of James’s rollout on GMA. When listing his Bachelor qualifications, there’s an emphasis on James’s relationship to two very popular former Bachelor Nation stars: former contestant Tyler Cameron and former Bachelorette Hannah Brown. In fact, his friendship with Cameron and Brown was mentioned much more often than his other, arguably more notable accomplishments, like playing football at Wake Forest University or founding his own charitable business. It seems likely that what pushed James firmly into mainstream territory was his relationship with these two powerful, white Bachelor Nation stars — friends who had publicly and frequently given him their stamp of approval via social-media channels. The gatekeepers had spoken: James’s Blackness got a 'pass.' It’s not a coincidence that The Bachelor producers cast a Black woman (the aforementioned Rachel Lindsay) years before they cast a Black man. Americans’ fear of Black masculinity is as old a tradition as the country itself, and based on the show’s past casting practices, it is likely that many of the women competing for James’s heart will be white. Considering the complicated legacy of interracial relationships in the United States, the sight of James romancing a legion of white women still might not sit right with some people, especially those in more conservative circles. The reality is, even when Black men aren’t romancing white women, they are still viewed as a potential threat to the white American status quo. And the threat of Black masculinity multiplies exponentially when they are publicly kissing white women."