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‘Bachelor’ Discrimination Suit Dismissed

Submitted by on October 16, 2012 – 7:21 am Comments

Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, both Black males, filed a lawsuit against ABC because they claim both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette discriminate against non-Whites. Claybrooks and Johnson, who were rejected as potential bachelors on The Bachelor, do not believe they were given the same consideration as the White hopefuls. According to the suit, “[t]he shows’ complete lack of color is no accident”.

In all twenty-four combined seasons, the primary Bachelor and/or Bachelorette has always been White. Claybrooks and Johnson believe this was a deliberate and calculating move on the part of ABC. The pair maintains that the network has been almost exclusively selecting White participants for both shows to avoid the potential controversy of promoting miscegenation.

Although non-White suitors have been cast Claybrooks and Johnson believe the inclusion of the non-White participants is a formality, only giving the illusion of equality, and those contestants do not actually have a chance at winning. According to the twenty-three page document, “[b]y hiring only White applicants, Defendants are making the calculation that minorities in lead roles and interracial dating is unappealing to the shows’ audiences. The refusal to hire minority applicants is a conscious attempt to minimize the risk of alienating their majority-White viewership and the advertisers targeting that viewership”.

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Judge Aleta Trauger dismissed the case, concluding “Ultimately, whatever messages ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ communicate or are intended to communicate – whether explicitly, implicitly, intentionally, or otherwise – the First Amendment protects the right of the producers of these shows to craft and control those messages, based on whatever considerations the producers wish to take into account,”

A representative from ABC said of the dismissal, “We felt from the onset this case was completely without merit and we are pleased the Court has found in our favor.”

Kimberly Ainsworth

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