The Bachelor and The Bachelorette Hit With Racial Discrimination Lawsuit
By Daniel Gates | 4:34 pm, April 18th, 2012
A new lawsuit alleges that “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” are guilty of racial discrimination. The documents, filed on Wednesday in federal court in Tennessee, claim the dating series violate civil rights laws by denying people of color the same opportunities afforded to whites.
Plaintiffs Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson seek redress “for the intentional exclusion of people of color from the lead role” of the two ABC shows after the two men (both of whom are black) were allegedly removed unfairly from the audition process.
They point out that of the 23 combined seasons of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” “every person featured in the lead role on either show has been white.” Claybrooks and Johnson say that they and other non-white applicants “have been denied the same opportunity as their white counterparts to compete for the role of the Bachelor and Bachelorette due to they race and/or color.” The men argue that “the deliberate exclusion of people of color” from the dating series “underscores the significant barriers that people of color continue to face in media and the broader marketplace.”
The lawsuit asks for an injunction prohibiting producers and the network from continuing discriminatory business practices, and the adoption of policies and programs consistent with non-discriminatory legal obligations. Claybrooks and Johnson also seek punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
In a statement furnished to Gossip Cop, Warner Horizon Television, which produces the show, calls the lawsuit “baseless and without merit.” The statement continues, “In fact, we have had various participants of color throughout the series’ history, and the producers have been consistently — and publicly — vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both programs. As always, we continue to seek out participants of color for both ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette.” What do you think of the lawsuit?