ABC’s The Bachelor Faces Lawsuit for Racial Discrimination

Two African American men have pointed out that over 10 years and 23 seasons, neither The Bachelor nor The Bachelorette have ever featured bachelors or bachelorettes of colour. They're now leading a racial lawsuit against ABC and its partners

Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson of The Bachelor Season 16

Questions of race are raised by two men that felt cast aside by The Bachelor

ABC is about to feel a thorn in its side over what a group of Nashville residents say is racial discrimination on the series The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, both African Americans, are leading the charge, reportedly filing a class-action lawsuit Wednesday (April 18) against ABC, Warner Horizon Television, Next Entertainment, NZK Productions and The Bachelor executive producer and creator Mike Fleiss, reports the Hollywood Reporter.

As many viewers and analysts have noted before, Claybrooks and Johnson point out that over 10 years and 23 seasons, the two reality programs have never featured a person of a color as the titular “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette.” Additionally, TMZ reports that when the potential plaintiffs went to a Nashville hotel to audition for the show, Johnson claims a producer asked him what he was doing there. Johnson and Claybrooks say they were then left out of the normal audition process, which they attribute to being African American.

Last year, when asked by Entertainment Weekly if viewers would ever see a bachelor or bachelorette who wasn’t white, creator Fleiss said, “I think Ashley [Hebert] is 1/16th Cherokee Indian, but I cannot confirm. But that is my suspicion! We really tried, but sometimes we feel guilty of tokenism. Oh, we have to wedge African-American chicks in there! We always want to cast for ethnic diversity, it’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward. I wish they would.”

Do you think The Bachelor is a racist show?