It took 18 editions of ABC's "The Bachelor" before it named its first non-white leading man.
Juan Pablo Galavis will step up from one of Desiree Hartsock's many beaus this past season on "The Bachelorette" to his own hunt for love next season on the long-running series.
“It’s about time," former entertainment editor at The Huffington Post "Latino Voices" and former deputy editor at Latina Magazine, Lee Hernandez, told TheWrap.
Harsock sent Galavis, a single father and former professional soccer player from Miami, home on Episode 6. On Monday's season finale, she picked and subsequently got engaged to Chris Siegfried. ABC announced Galavis as its new "Bachelor" the same evening.
Viewers took to Twitter after the announcement and some expressed excitement on the choice, but others challenged if the light-skinned, light-eyed 32-year-old is truly representative of Latinos.
"Latinos come in all shapes, sizes and colors," Hernandez said, pointing to several Latino stars including “Psych's” James Roday, “Louie's” Louis C.K, "Shake It Up's" Bella Thorne and "Glee's" Naya Rivera. "They’re all Latino, equally so. To suggest otherwise is offensive."
Cosmopolitan for Latinas editor-in-chief Michelle Herrera Mulligan told TheWrap, "It will be great to see a Latino as next season’s Bachelor; I think it will give the show a fresh and interesting take. As for Juan Pablo being Latino enough… if he's Venezuelan enough to play futbol in Caracas, he's Venezuelan enough for me!"
"[It's] not like his skin color is going to make him represent Latino culture any better," former MamasLatinas.com managing editor Stacey Rivera told us. "Is he going to speak Spanish? Will we see his family? What food will he eat on dates? Will religion pay a role? That is what represents Latinos."
An ABC representative declined to comment on the announcement.
The experts clearly support Galavis' ability to represent Latinos on the reality series. Here's a sample of what fans said on Twitter:
– Rodolfo Soules (@rodolfoelchamo) August 6, 2013
I love how they wanted to cast a Latino for the new season of The Bachelor and made sure he looked as white as possible. Smart ABC!
– I'm Always Hungry (@daviidyodaddy) August 6, 2013
– Pamela (@Pamela1105) August 6, 2013
– Rocio Alessandra ✌ (@_rarh) August 6, 2013
– Sara (@Daxoai) August 6, 2013
I love how this guy is the first Latino Bachelor. pic.twitter.com/gTfupGBssk
– Alex Hughes (@thealexhughes) August 6, 2013
Good for you, ABC TV! You're finally putting a Latino on The Bachelor: retired Venezuelan professional soccer player Juan Pablo Galavis.
– Nexos Latinos (@NexosLatinos) August 6, 2013
– Creative Heidy (@CreativeHeidy) August 6, 2013