Mike Johnson, a fan favorite on Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette, is reportedly in serious consideration to become the next star of The Bachelor. He would be the first black lead in 24 seasons of show.
In a season of The Bachelorette littered with guys who spent their entire journey lying to Hannah Brown or being outright disrespectful to her, Johnson was a breath of fresh air. His smile lit up rooms across America and caught the attention of Demi Lovato. His big personality was only rivaled by his big heart. Johnson, a portfolio manager from San Antonio, Texas, was the second oldest man on the season at 31, eliminated in week 7 just before hometown dates. Although it's rare for someone who didn't make the final four to be cast as The Bachelor, Johnson made enough of an impression to warrant the attention.
According to an Us Weekly report, Johnson is under serious consideration to land the role. A source told the outlet, "Producers have brought up his name a lot to potential contestants." In an interview with Us following The Men Tell All special, Johnson expressed an openness to being The Bachelor. He said:
“It makes me feel awesome, I’m not gonna lie about it. It puts a smile on my face to know that people want me to find the love that I want so dearly. I’m super humble in the sense of I shy it down quite often, but being completely transparent, it makes me feel amazing that people would even consider that for me.”
The Air Force veteran would be the first black lead of the franchise since Rachel Lindsay pioneered the diversity push in 2017 as The Bachelorette. Lindsay told Us at The Bachelorette reunion in April, “It was sad for me to look around the room and [see that] no one else looked like me. It was sad for me to be the sole representation for women of color.”
The Bachelor franchise has long been criticized for its lack of diversity - in race, but also sexual orientation - that has been represented on the show. It's largely been a series about telling the story of how one attractive white person falls in love with another attractive white person, and because of that, only a small section of the population can relate to what they watch. Casting more leads and contestants of color is important to show that love doesn't look one certain way. For too long, The Bachelor hasn't portrayed an accurate cross-section of America's diverse population. Johnson is the perfect candidate to start to shift that trend in the right direction.
Source: Us Weekly