James was supposed to be a contestant on Crawley's upcoming season of 'The Bachelorette.'
Matt James has nothing but love and support for Clare Crawley's upcoming season of The Bachelorette. James was originally cast on Crawley's season of the show before the coronavirus pandemic halted production. Since that time, James has been named the next Bachelor franchise lead (and first Black male lead in franchise history).
On Wednesday, news broke of Crawley's refreshed pool of contestants, which features some original and some new faces. When ET's Lauren Zima posted on Instagram about the new casting, James commented about the upcoming season, "I’m tuned in!?She is gonna be great ?."
James is the first Bachelor in 12 years to be cast without appearing on a previous season of The Bachelorette. He was previously announced as a contestant on Crawley's season of The Bachelorette, though due to the coronavirus, the cycle halted production in March before Crawley even met her men at the Bachelor mansion. The franchise later announced it was recasting some men for the season due to scheduling.
Fans thought that James might have been one of the men to exit Crawley's cast, as she appeared to shade him on Twitter in April for having a Cameo account. "If you are doing interviews and creating Cameo accounts before you are even on my season... you are in it for the wrong reasons... #dontwasteyourtime," she tweeted on April 25. "Respect the opportunity you’ve been given. Respect the rules. Respect me. @BacheloretteABC."
James was fiercely defended by some fans, who pointed out that he was donating profits from Cameo to charity. His best friend, Tyler Cameron, told ET in May that he'd love to see James and Crawley "hash it out."
Crawley's season of The Bachelorette is expected to start filming later this summer and air in the fall. James' season of The Bachelor is expected to film in the fall and air in January 2021. See more on James in the video below.