After 16 seasons on television, Portland sportscaster Lamar Hurd hopes to become the first black man to headline ABC’s The Bachelor. The reality show has come under scrutiny previously for a lack of diversity in its contestants. In his official audition video, Hurd said that his assistant first suggested that he appear on the show. Despite there never having been a black “Bachelor,” Hurd said she persisted, finally convincing him to audition for the show. The Huffington Post reports:

WATCH LAMAR HURD’S AUDITION VIDEO TO BE THE FIRST BLACK ‘BACHELOR’:

“It all started when I was at Tammy’s house [my assistant], and we’re having a barbeque,” he explained in his YouTube audition clip. “She’s there with her sisters, her son, the whole family’s there. And I see some chuckling going on at the end of the table wondering what it is. I didn’t make too much of it cause they’re always cracking jokes. One of her sisters blurted out, ‘Tammy, you’ve been trying to get Lamar on the bachelor?’ So of course I looked down the table to try to see what’s really going on. And come to find out, she’s been trying to get me on.”

The Bachelor’ franchise’s unofficial ban on minorities

“When it first came up I shot the whole idea down. I said, ‘Tammy, first of all you have to look at it like this, they never had a black bachelor. Let’s say I wanted to go on there, and was willing to do it. They have not ever had a black bachelor.’ So that was the first thing.” In spite of the show’s history, Hurd has recently launched a campaign in hopes of landing him on season 17. If indeed the Oregon native is chosen to appear as the show’s leading man, he admitted that he would proudly accept the offer and hopefully find his love interest.

“It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, it’s who I’m doing it with. So if it’s someone that I’m in love with then we’re going to have a good time.”

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