A group of Nashville residents led by two local football players said they are planning to file a class-action lawsuit against ABC’s ‘The Bachelor’ on the basis of racial discrimination. The plaintiffs claim that in over 10 years and 23 seasons of the show, there has not been a single featured Bachelor or Bachelorette that is a person of color.
The absence of minorities on the show has been speculated about by several news outlets even before the lawsuit. Groups representing African Americans and Hispanics have long complained about the shortage of lead minority actors on scripted shows, but the emergence of reality television was hoped to solve issues of diversity.
Glen Rothstein, an attorney at Blank Rome, says that the group of would-be contestants have a viable argument if they can establish that they were denied the opportunity to compete on the basis of their race. “In order to prevail, however, at a minimum, the plaintiffs will more likely than not have to present at least some additional evidence above and beyond the fact that the programs have never featured a single person of color as the Bachelor or Bachelorette,” he says. “The plaintiffs will ultimately have to prove that a race based component relating to the selection process exists that was implemented in a discriminatory and unlawful manner.”
Attorneys representing the plaintiffs said they will be filing a federal complaint this morning.