On Monday's episode of The Bachelor, Matt James spoke to his father, Manny, about how he walked away from his family when Matt was young

By Jen Juneau
March 09, 2021 09:18 AM
Advertisement

Matt James is opening up about seeing his emotional conversation with his father, Manny, play out on television.

On Monday's episode of The Bachelor, Matt sat down with Manny, who previously walked out on Matt, his brother and his mother, to have a heart-to-heart before Matt headed into Fantasy Suite week with his three remaining contestants.

After their conversation — which ended with the two embracing and acknowledging their mutual respect and love — aired on the ABC series, Matt tweeted, "Tonight's convo with my dad was hard to experience, and it's just as hard to watch all this time later, especially knowing the world is watching with me."

"Too often, we see dangerous stereotypes and negative depictions of Black fathers in media. And they have consequences when presented without context," Matt, 29, continued, sharing a link to an article about the topic from The Opportunity Agenda, a social justice communication lab.

He concluded, "All I hope is that people watch that conversation with nuance, care, and also an understanding that there are real systemic issues at play. I'm so proud of myself for being vulnerable, and I'm so proud of my mother. I wouldn't be who I am without my dad. That's a fact."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

During Monday's episode, Matt said he wanted to speak to his father before heading into the week with his final three ladies: Bri, Michelle and Rachael.

"I still have a lot of fear about what commitment looks like based on him and my mom's relationship," he told the cameras in a confessional. "That's not something I want to carry with me. Harboring that negativity in my life hasn't progressed any of my relationships. It's hindered my growth. For me to move forward, I have to address those demons in my life."

Manny then paid a visit to Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania to talk to his son. "I need to know where your head was at so I don't make those same mistakes going forward," Matt told his father.

"I'm going to take some of that blame of me not showing up as a father figure, much as it's supposed to be, but do you know what I went through?" Manny said. "Do you want me to tell you the real deal? I came home one day, your mom was gone."

RELATED VIDEO: Matt James Apologizes to Victoria, Confronts His Exes During Women Tell All

When Matt said he didn't blame his mom for leaving amid his father's infidelity, Manny countered, "No one is perfect, son."

"Look around you at this world — who is perfect? I'm not perfect. You're not perfect yourself," he continued. "We make mistakes in our life. We're going to fall. It's how you get up."

Still, Manny admitted he's "not proud" of himself for cheating, and he ultimately apologized to Matt.

"I'm sorry I hurt you, son," he said. "Whatever I can do to make it better, I'll work on it. I want you to be happy for the rest of your life and I want you to have a relationship that's healthy and not like what I went through. Plus, I know I don't like this. And I don't like it that you're far away from me."

"I want you to be part of any relationship I'm in going forward," Matt said, adding, "I forgive you. I'm not holding grudges."

In an on-camera interview, Matt deemed the conversation with his dad "a great starting point."

"I'm not him and I don't have to make the mistakes that he made," he said. "We're different humans."

The Bachelor season finale airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, followed by the After the Final Rose special, hosted by Emmanuel Acho, at 10 p.m. ET.