In April, jilted would-be contestants of ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette filed a high profile racial discrimination suit against the network and the show’s producers.
The plaintiffs allege that the highly popular shows failed to cast diversely. The two shows have been on TV for over a decade — 23 seasons all told — and they have never featured a “person of color” as either a Bachelor or a Bachelorette. According to an article in the Hollywood Reporter, “The lack of minority faces on the show has been a curiosity of some analysts even before this lawsuit.”
Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks, two of the plaintiffs, want to get the lawsuit certified as a class action. They also want to keep the case in Tennessee, where it’s currently situated. Lawyers for ABC and the producers of the show filed documents on June 1 to try to move the case to Los Angeles, since the City of Angels has been where “virtually all of the material witnesses” reside.
The two shows have accounted for a whopping 23 seasons of network television. They are massively popular — iconic examples of the new generation of reality television. In order to try to dismiss the case and/or get the venue changed, ABC attorneys have until June 4 to get their legal act together. ABC’s lawyers defended the actions of the show, saying that “television casting decisions are protected by the First Amendment.”
No matter what happens, this case could be an interesting drama – perhaps even more interesting than what happens on the shows themselves After all, their formulas are pretty well established by now – some might even say “played out”! This case, on the other hand, could potentially affect casting decisions throughout Hollywood.
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