Reality TV

Inside Jimmy Nicholson’s nationality and why it’s so important

Hopefully it's a step in the right direction for representation.
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Jimmy Nicholson’s season of The Bachelor is debuting tonight and fans are thrilled to finally see a more diverse pick for the leading role.

The 32-year-old pilot is a fresh face for the series, which has been stuck in a pattern of reusing former cast members as Bachelors and Bachelorettes in recent years.

WATCH: First look at Jimmy Nicholson on The Bachelor

Channel 10 has also mined its own talent pool to cast the leading man or lady in the past, and almost all of the picks have been white.

But that all changed earlier this year when Jimmy was announced as the new Bachelor and sent fans into a frenzy.

Hailing from Sydney, the fit 32-year-old is reported to be of New Zealand and Fijian heritage.

Though he hasn’t spoken about his nationality publicly, Jimmy has shared how thrilled he was to be chosen for the new season.

“I feel very fortunate to be the Bachelor 2021. I am ready to open up my heart and meet someone,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

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Jimmy Nicholson’s nationality is a big shift for the show. (Credit: Instagram)

“I hope to meet someone with similar values that I can have fun with and that shares the same zest for life as myself. The Bachelor franchise has produced many success stories and I hope to be the next.”

The last time viewers saw a person of colour (POC) in the role of Bachelor was in 2014, when Blake Garvey starred in his now-infamous season of the show.

Garvey is biracial, his father an African American man who lives in the US.

WATCH: Bachelor Jimmy Nicholson talks about his family (Article continues after video)

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In recent years there have been growing calls for more diversity in Australian film and TV casting, especially when it comes to reality TV.

Shows like The Bachelor, Love Island, Big Brother and more have been questioned over their predominantly white casts.

Carlos Fang, who is Chinese-Australian, claimed last year that he was cast as the “token” minority in the 2016 season of The Bachelorette.

“It’s your advantage because you know there’s always one person cast to represent that mix but it’s likely to be a disadvantage for the final outcome of the show,” he told HuffPost Australia.

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Carlos Fang appeared in the 2016 season of The Bachelorette. (Credit: Instagram)

“Rarely is there a person of colour standing there at the end of the season.”

A former Australian reality TV producer is also quoted as having told the outlet that it’s often perceived by the major networks that “casting a BIPOC in an intimate role is making a statement and isn’t going to sell”.

Thankfully, Jimmy’s casting appears to be a step in the right direction when it comes to The Bachelor contestants, with hopes that the network will continue to cast BIPOC in future seasons.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now To Love.

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