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Lifetime’s UnREAL has cast its black bachelor.
Agents of SHIELD‘s B.J. Britt will take on the series-regular role, the cable network announced late Wednesday.
In its second season, the drama’s Bachelor-like reality-show-within-the-show, Everlasting, will feature something the ABC flagship never has: an African-American bachelor.
Britt will play Darius Hill, a professional quarterback and Everlasting‘s first African-American suitor, marking a huge get for Quinn (Constance Zimmer) and Rachel (Shiri Appleby). With a million-dollar smile, sweetness and swagger, Darius is the whole package, and the ladies swoon. Hoping to charm his way out of a PR scandal, Darius has no idea that the ride he’s about to take on Everlasting will change his life forever.
The casting comes after UnREAL producers told the press at TCA that they’re taking diversity seriously. “We don’t want to fall asleep at the wheel,” co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro told reporters. “In an era where driving while black is dangerous, there are few more things more pressing than this conversation. We really want to keep talking about stuff that we’re passionate about.”
The Bachelor has come under fire for not featuring an African-American bachelor — or bachelorette, for that matter — over the ABC reality staple’s 14-year run. However, Shapiro said that race will play a big part of the upcoming second season — a particularly topical discussion in the midst of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
(ABC, for its part, told the press this week that the upcoming season of The Bachelorette in the summer likely would feature a diverse lead.)
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