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UnREAL star B.J. Britt on groundbreaking black bachelor role

UnReal is back for a second season of scripted drama and murky morals — but this time they've gone where reality TV hasn't dared.
"Wait, what?" Even B.J. Britt was surprised to learn he was trying out for the role of suitor in reality TV drama UnREAL. (Lifetime)
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UnReal is back for a second season of scripted drama and murky morals. The dark Lifetime show zooms out to reveal behind-the-scenes manipulation at a Bachelor-style dating competition called Everlasting

This time UnREAL is going where reality shows like The Bachelor never have — casting a black suitor played by actor B.J. Britt. 

Britt's character, Darius Beck, is a pro-football quarterback persuaded to join Everlasting as a way to rehabilitate his public image.
 
The actor joins guest host Gill Deacon to discuss the truth-telling power of scripted television, and what he makes of the fact that neither The Bachelor nor The Bachelorette series have cast a black lead in 32 combined seasons. 

"Everything UnREAL is doing is groundbreaking," says Britt, adding that the pressure is high. "They're kicking doors down ... but in a pop culture way that allows people to talk about it." 

B.J. Britt is the first black bachelor on American television in the latest season of UnREAL. (Lifetime)


WEB EXTRA | In May, UnREAL won a prestigious Peabody Award. Read their statement below.

Reality television is known as much for formulaic convention as for an explosion of current shows, but UnREAL demonstrates how much more can be said about the genre. Focusing on a fictitious Bachelor-like dating show, UnREAL cleverly unpacks what makes reality programs tick, how they get put in motion and who helps them rise or fall. Crafted around the story of two women producers who are at each other's throats as much as they are on each other's team, UnREAL builds an unorthodox platform for delivering biting social commentary. Combining satire, dramedy and soap opera, the program critiques the placement of women in today's media environment. Delivering incisive views on key social issues - gender stereotypes and sexism, class inequality, addiction, mental illness, the vagaries of power, the underside of kinship and the blinking glow of celebrity - it invests viewers far more than the dating show it parodies could have hoped for. For illustrating how masterfully parody can work when it shines its light fearlessly, and for smartly blending the dichotomy between high and low culture, UnREAL wins a peabody award.


 
 

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