ABC’s Bachelor and Bachelorette certainly have always featured colorful casts, but they haven’t showcased very many people of color.
And the show’s racially homogeneous makeup hasn’t gone unnoticed. A group of Nashville residents, led by football players Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Jones, announced in a press release that they plan to file a class-action lawsuit Wednesday against the dating competition shows for racial discrimination.
For a combined total of 23 seasons, neither program has featured a single person of color as the featured Bachelor or Bachelorette. Attorneys for Claybrooks and Johnson, who are both African-American, will file their complaint in federal court against ABC, three production companies working on the show and executive producer Mike Fleiss.
Last year, Entertainment Weekly asked Fleiss if The Bachelor would eventually feature someone who isn’t white. “We really tried [for a diverse cast], but sometimes we feel guilty of tokenism,” he said. “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.”
At this time, ABC has not released a statement in response to the purported lawsuit. Claybrooks and Johnson plan to hold a press conference Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to discuss their suit.