Earlier this month sportscaster Lamar Hurd made headlines when he announced that he was publicly campaigning to become the first Black bachelor on ABC’s hit reality show The Bachelor. Now, just a few short weeks later, the show is part of another racially motivated headline. Two Black men plan to sue the show for racial discrimination by leading a group of Nashville residents in a class action law suit against the network.
Nathaniel Claybrooks, a linebacker for the Nashville Storm, and Christopher Johnson, who once played wide receiver at Tennessee State, both claim they were denied a fair chance at competing for the show when they attended a local audition due to their race. According to a press release distributed by the men’s attorneys, they will file a complaint in federal court tomorrow morning and the show’s executive producer Mike Fleiss will be named in the suit, along with Warner Horizon Television, Next Entertainment, and NZK Productions, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Fleiss was asked about the lack of diversity of the show last year during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, and he responded: “We always want to cast for ethnic diversity, it’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward. I wish they would.”
In their 23 seasons, neither The Bachelor nor The Bachelorette has had a person of color in the title role. Hurd’s public campaign earned him a meeting with ABC, his assistant confirmed in early April. There has been no news since concerning whether or not he landed the role.
Do you think The Bachelor producers are racist?