3 Wins for Social Justice on TV This Week

As protests for racial equality continue across the globe, we’re starting to see real changes in the entertainment industry. In case you missed it, here are three big announcements from some of the most popular reality shows on television.

Matt James
Instagram | @MattJames919

ABC Taps Matt James as First Black Bachelor

Matt James will be the first black Bachelor to have his chance to find love on national television.

Initially tapped to be a contestant on season 16 of “The Bachelorette,” which was postponed due to the coronavirus, James is now the lead of his own season.

ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke stated, “Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season. When filming couldn’t move forward as planned [due to the pandemic], we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor.”

This month, former contestant Rachel Lindsay spoke out about the issues of racism with the franchise. At the time, she was the only BIPOC lead ever cast in the series. Some fans of Bachelor Nation were still hoping for Mike Johnson, a popular contestant on Hannah Brown’s season of “The Bachelorette” to be the next Bachelor. Other fans see it as at least a step in the right direction.

Cop Reality Shows Canceled

Hey, remember how Paramount and A&E suspended new episodes of “Cops” and “Live PD”? Turns out that move is now permanent. Both networks have canceled the shows, which critics described as “copaganda” for law enforcement.

“Cops” was supposed to start airing its 33rd (!) season this summer. Instead, the long-running show is canceled. “Live PD,” which was the most-watched show on A&E, is also done–at least on its original network.

“Live PD” host Dan Abrams has been vocal about his opposition to the move. He spoke out on his personal Twitter, as well as his SiriusXM radio show and in interviews. A&E’s decision to axe the program came shortly after a report alleging that the producers deleted footage of a Texas man being murdered by police officers.

‘Vanderpump Rules’ Fires Multiple Stars Over Racist Behavior

Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute will no longer appear on the hit Bravo reality series. Former cast member Faith Stowers, who is black, campaigned for their removal. Stowers revealed that they called they intentionally called the police with false information. Schroeder and Doute saw a photograph of a black woman suspected of robbery who looked vaguely like Stowers.

“It was just funny because they thought it was me because it was a Black woman with a weave,” Stowers said on Instagram Live. “So they just assumed it would be me, and they called the cops on me. It didn’t work, so they were upset about that.”

Although the two women later apologized for their behavior, it wasn’t enough to save their jobs. New cast members Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni have also been fired after their racist tweets came to light.