'The Bachelor' Franchise Sued for Race DiscriminationShauna Wright |
While you may think being excluded from participating in the shows in 'The Bachelor' franchise would be a badge of honor, two African-American men who attended an open casting call and were quickly turned away have now filed a class-action suit against ABC and the franchise producers for what they say is "purposeful discrimination against people of color."
Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, both from Nashville, applied during an open casting call for 'The Bachelor/ette' in August 2011. Claybrooks says his interview process took less than half the time of the white applicants in front of him, and Johnson alleges, “I was stopped by a young gentleman about five feet into the door. He saw fit to ask me exactly what was I doing [there].”
Both men felt their race had everything to do with why they weren't cast on one of the shows. “Looking back at how I was treated at the casting call last year, it was clear that ... I never even had a chance,” said Claybrooks.
Their attorney, Cyrus Mehri, said he's been contacted by dozens of other people with similar stories, and he feels the shows purposely exclude people of color. “How do you explain zero [Bachelors and Bachelorettes of color] for 23 [seasons]?” he asked.
As for Claybrooks and Johnson, Mehri said, ”They’re doing their small part in the Unites States’ journey to be a more inclusive country, to be a more diverse country, and to be a country that is far more tolerant than this series would suggest.”