Mike Johnson Reacts to Matt James' 'Bachelor' Casting, Telling Fans "Don't Feel Bad for Me"

"They listened to us."

  • In a new Instagram video, Mike Johnson (opens in new tab) shared his reaction to Matt James' historic casting as the first Black lead on The Bachelor.
  • Johnson was a fan favorite during his time on Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette and many lobbied for him to become The Bachelor's (opens in new tab) first Black lead. 
  • In his video, Johnson shared his full support for James and told fans not to feel bad for him.

Mike Johnson (opens in new tab) has reacted to Matt James' historic casting (opens in new tab) as the first Black lead on The Bachelor (opens in new tab)—and, spoiler alert, he's here for it. 

Johnson, who was a contestant on Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette, was a fan favorite and many thought that popularity would earn him the lead role on the franchise's flagship series. Ultimately, however, Johnson wasn't cast as the titular Bachelor (opens in new tab) (instead, it went to the season's "nice guy" Peter Weber (opens in new tab), who went on to be one of the most controversial and widely-loathed Bachelors in the show's history).

Now, following ABC's announcement that Matt James will make history as the franchise's first Black Bachelor (opens in new tab), Johnson has taken to Instagram to share his thoughts—and to make it clear to fans that there are no hard or hurt feelings on his end.

A post shared by Mike Johnson (@mike_johnson) (opens in new tab)

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"I just want to give a huge shout out to Matt James," Johnson explained in the video. "I definitely texted him earlier but I want to show him love and shout him out publicly as well."

Johnson also expressed just how happy he was that network executives finally listened to fans who have been calling for more diversity on the series for years.

"They listened to us, I'm giving you guys a shout out, the fans. ...You guys marched and sent all these emails, I'm sure. ...Your guys' voice is definitely being heard."

Finally, Johnson made sure to make it clear that he's not upset about not getting the Bachelor title himself.

"Don't feel bad for me at all. I am just so elated. I have so many things coming down the pipeline," he explained. "I hope that you enjoy my book, I have so much to talk about. Quite honestly, be happy, baby. Don't say nothing bad about my homie. Matt's going to do a great job."

Agreed.


Black Lives Matter

Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.