The first Black Bachelor's season hit a new low on Monday night, as the show exploited James' family strife and played into stereotypes about Black fathers, says Laura Bradley. Monday's episode, which James issued a warning about on Twitter, focused on him having an emotional conversation with his absentee father. "The show tried to frame the meeting as a heartwarming and necessary moment as Matt explores what love means to him," says Bradley. "But the questions it left unanswered were frustrating—and left room, intentionally or not, for racist stereotypes and assumptions to fill in the blanks. Beyond the way it was presented, a greater issue lingered: Matt and his father are each entitled to their feelings and experiences, but should we really be allowed to witness them? As Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first Black Bachelorette, pointed out on The Ringer’s Bachelor Party podcast, the only thing we really know about Matt, even after all these weeks, is that he’s a pretty even-keeled guy who grew up without his father. Matt is biracial; his mother, who raised him and his brother in North Carolina, is white, while his father is Black. And thanks to this season’s focus on drama between contestants, we know little about Matt as a person beyond these facts. As a result, the show has flattened Matt’s family into a stereotype instead of illuminating their relationships with empathy. As Lindsay pointed out, this week’s scene and the way Matt’s story has been framed overall play straight into dated tropes about Black fathers being disproportionately absent from their children’s lives. (That notion, which remains pervasive to this day, has been repeatedly debunked.) Lindsay also reflected on her own experience with the show—including the way producers forced her to deal with racist contestant Lee Garrett on her own during her season. 'If the Bachelor franchise has shown us anything,' she said, 'it’s that they don't know how to protect people of color; they only know how to exploit them.' The Bachelor thrives on 'conversations' like the ones Matt and his father just shared. Especially recently, the series seems to use intense personal moments as proof of substance—from Caelynn Miller-Keyes discussing her sexual assault during Colton Underwood’s Bachelor season to Bachelorette Hannah Brown’s highly publicized strike back against a slut-shaming contestant. But as Lindsay notes, it’s surprising that The Bachelor—with its history of letting down its contestants of color—believed itself equipped to tell a story as complex as Matt’s and his father’s."