‘The Bachelor’: ABC responds to lawsuit over racial discrimination

The suit had been in the headlines.

The idea that “The Bachelor” is somehow ignoring racial diversity is hardly new to the franchise. Both we and other fans have openly complained about it for years, and have often even resorted to asking one primary question about it — why not give more people of color a chance? DeAnna Pappas’ season was the last time there was a black contestant, and every lead ever on the show has been white.

Therefore, we’re not particularly stunned about a new lawsuit coming out from two black men, who claim that they were separated from the rest of the white contestants at a recent casting call and were not really given the proper time of day. Is this really true? A new statement from Warner Horizon seems to be denying it in every way possible:

“This complaint is baseless and without merit … In fact, we have had various participants of color throughout the series’ history, and the producers have been consistently — and publicly — vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both programs. As always, we continue to seek out participants of color for both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.”

There is ultimately one disconnect here still between the original lawsuit and this new statement — the fact that these plaintiffs were auditioning to be “The Bachelor,” while the production company’s response says nothing about seeking out participants of color to be the lead roles. Could this be because they usually like to cast their leads from a past season? Sure, but the wording here is still a little tricky.

While we’re not invested in the case deeply enough to know whether or not any of these allegations made against production are true, we do know that contestants from different ethnic backgrounds have worked out well in the past — after all, Ali Fedotowsky was with Roberto Martinez for several years, and he was really the only minority represented on his season. We’re not sure if the lack of diversity is coming from contestants saying that they are not interested in multiracial dating, from ABC being afraid to broadcast minorities that they think will alienate their (mostly white) audience, or from there simple being no good applicants of color stepping up to the plate. (Then again, we like Lamar Hurd!)

What do you think about this lawsuit?

Photo: ABC

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