Photo: Courtesy of ABC
This year’s “The Bachelorette” marks the 23rd season of the hit show. Their “brother” show, ABC’s “The Bachelor,” also has been around for the past 10 years.During that time, viewers have watched Brad Womack reject both finalists, Jason Mesnick give a rose to Melissa Rycroft, reject her, then chase after runner-up Molly Malaney, and of course, Bachelorette Ali Fedowtowsky discover that one of her suitors (Justin “The Wrestler”) had not one, but TWO serious girlfriends back home in Toronto.
But what hasn’t been shown much is ethnic diversity among the contestants.
Now Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson–both college football players and more importantly, both African-American–are filing a class action lawsuit in federal court against the network for racial discrimination.
At a Nashville “open” casting call in August 2011 the pair were reportedly dismissed during the audition process, while contestants who were Caucasian were treated with greater attention. Claybrooks stated that “he never had a chance” and felt like he had been treated unjustly and unfairly by producers of the show.
So do their claims have any merit? We’re going to have to say yes.
The latest season of “The Bachelorette” featured one African American man and two Latino men among the potential suitors, making this season the most diverse the show has ever been to date.Unfortunately, all three men received very little camera time which some say resulted in their early dismissal by “Bachelorette” and single mother, Emily Maynard.
The show has still not yet featured an Asian man (or woman) among the potential suitors who have even this much of a chance to making the top 2, let alone top 15.
Interracial couples has been the hot topic for many dating shows. The latest addition, “The Choice,” has attempted to bypass it all together by forcing their celebrity bachelors to pick their suitors based on voice alone.
But producers of the show deny all allegations of racism, stating that they’ve had “various participants of colour throughout the series’ history, and they have been consistently–and publicly–vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both programs.”
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