A group of Nashville residents are filing a complaint in federal court against Warner Horizon Television, Next Entertainment, NZK Productions and Bachelor executive producer Mike Fleiss. The group states that after 10 years and 23 seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette their has never been a single Bachelor or Bachelorette of color.
NFL players Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, both African Americans, claim that a representative from the show pulled the two to the side and did not allow them to audition for the show at a Nashville hotel.
This is not the first time that people have criticized the lack of minority faces on the hit ABC reality show.
President of CBS Entertainment Nina Tassner told the Los Angeles Times in 2009 that “when you’re casting for an unscripted show, it’s a much bigger universe and a whole different talent base.”
Even the show’s executive producer Mike Fleiss, who’s included in the lawsuit, is aware of the criticism. When asked by Entertainment Weekly whether the show will ever include a Bachelor or Bachelorette that was not white, he reportedly responded:
“”I think Ashley is 1/16th Cherokee Indian, but I cannot confirm. But that is my suspicion! We really tried, but sometimes we feel guilty of tokenism. Oh, we have to wedge African-American chicks in there! We always want to cast for ethnic diversity, it’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward. I wish they would.”
Claybrooks, Johnson and the group of Nashville residents are being represented by the law firms Barrett Johnston, Mehri & Skalet and Perkins-Law.