ABC's 'The Bachelor' And 'The Bachelorette' Staring Down Racial Discrimination Suit
TMZ and The Huffington Post report today that the makers of ABC's hit reality dating shows "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" will soon face a lawsuit alleging discrimination against casting minority singles.
Attorneys representing Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson will allegedly file their federal court complaints Wednesday morning against ABC production companies Warner Horizon Television, Next Entertainment, NZK Productions and excecutive producer Mike Fleiss.
The filing reportedly alleges that the two men attended a Nashville casting session for "The Bachelor" but a producer left them out of the audition process - both men believe, because they were black. Both claim that a producer asked what they two were doing there.
That will be tough to prove, but here's something that isn't: in 23 seasons between the two shows, there has never been a black "Bachelor." Fleiss did say to Entertainment Weekly last year that it's been a priority behind the scenes to cast one, but "it's just that for whatever reason, they don't come forward. I wish they would."
What a time for ABC to confront another lawsuit. The network and producers of "Desperate Housewives" escaped Nicollette Sheridan's wrongful termination suit with a hung jury declared March 19. Sheridan had alleged that she was suddenly written off the series following a 2008 mid-rehearsal spat with creator Marc Cherry. She pursued a $5.7-million claim based in part on a claim that Cherry struck her in the head during a discussion about dialogue.