ABC's Bachelor Franchise No Longer Casts Black People: Is That OK? Does It Warrant a Lawsuit?

Get More: Controversy, Reality TV

bachelor brad cast photoI’ve got conflicting feelings regarding the recent class-action lawsuit — led by two African-American former college football players who say they got brushed off at an open casting call – alleging that ABC “knowingly, intentionally and as a matter of corporate policy refused to cast people of color in the role of the Bachelor and Bachelorette.”

I did a little non-scientific research — perusing the full cast photos for the last four seasons of The Bachelor and last two seasons of The Bachelorette, and didn’t see a single African-American or Asian-American person in the cast. (Yeah, a few people looked vaguely beige, but these singletons may have come from Spraytanikstan.) That 0-for-156 strike rate is like a roaring jet engine drowning out producer Warner Horizon’s self-defense: “We have had various participants of color throughout the series’ history, and the producers have been consistently — and publicly — vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both programs. As always, we continue to seek out participants of color for both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.” Seriously? Where are you seeking these folks? At a whites-only country club?

But here’s where it gets tricky. I remember when I met my husband — who happens to be black — on Match.com. We had a good laugh about all the people on the Web site who would very conspicuously check every box except for the one marked “African-American” on their “What are you looking for?” questionnaires. The thing is, though, you can’t rationalize or sanitize people’s romantic attractions — even if on paper, their criteria might look comically awkward and/or narrow.

So let’s say you’re Warner Horizon and ABC: Once you’ve cast your ivory-skinned Barbie or Ken (or Skipper) — usually a rejected cast member from a prior season, so yeah, they’re gonna be white — you pretty much need to fill the room with 25 opposite-sex fameosexuals that fit his or her tastes. Maybe Ben, Brad (pictured, with his lay-dees), Jake, Jason, Ashley, and Ali only checked the “white” or “white” and “Latino” boxes on their “What am I looking for?” questionnaires. Would it somehow make the casting process less offensive to throw in a “token” African- or Asian-American person just for the sake of pretending to appear culturally diverse? The franchise used to do this in earlier seasons, and it was almost a running joke how often the sole person of color would last two or three rose ceremonies — the better to make the Bachelor or Bachelorette look “open-minded.”

Personally, I’d welcome a more diverse Bachelor/Bachelorette cast — who knows, maybe a little diversity would open up conversations beyond the lovebirds’ “journeys” and “feelings” and “qualities”? — but I’m not sure this is a battle that belongs in a courthouse. Should Modern Family be forced to add an African-American branch of the Pritchett clan? Should Cougar Town be legally mandated to invite an Indian-American to the cul-de-sac crew? And is casting for The Bachelor — which, at least in my mind, is as fictitious as any scripted program — all that different?

At the end of the day, if I don’t like The Bachelor franchise’s snow-white idea of love — if it really bothers me that this grim, sexist, soul-sucking, Cinderella-fantasy-on-Oxycontin, horror-show casting call for Bachelor Pad doesn’t reflect the diversity in my own home, or the idea of what I want to see on my television screen — I can always tune out. And in the world of commercial broadcasting, that might speak more loudly than any possibly dubious lawsuit.

What do you think? Does the lawsuit against the Bachelor franchise have merit? Would you be more interested if ABC finally (finally) cast a Bachelor or Bachelorette of color? And would it really be a civil rights victory for the African-American community if it was easier for them to enter the hellmouth portal to Bachelor Pad? Take our polls below, then hit the comments to expand on your feelings! And for all my reality TV news, commentary, and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!




Comments (91)

  • you make a fair point, but according to the quote you posted, it’s about the casting of the person who is the Bachelor or the Bachelorette. And if they casted an African-American it would in turn result in the 25 potential “soulmates” being more diverse too.

    Comment by jb – April 20, 2012 10:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • We are talking about the casting of a reality show ,,
      If they need to cast a person that is black then should they not also have to cast a people that are over 50 , over weight and have a disabilities ?

      Comment by Joseph Angelo – April 22, 2012 09:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Here’s an idea that’d get rejected in two seconds: Make THE BACHELOR or THE BACHELORETTE not white.

    Comment by chendaddy (@chendaddy) – April 20, 2012 11:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • so if shemar moore walked into casting, would they reject him? that would be heinous.

    Comment by Lala – April 20, 2012 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Or Kerry Washington!!

      Comment by david – April 20, 2012 12:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I know there are shows on BET that only cast black people, and there are latin shows that won’t cast white people, so I don’t see anything wrong with it per se, if that’s the show it is “White Bachelor” or “White Bachelorette.” But I think the casting people are wrong if they think their audience wouldn’t watch a show with a more diverse cast. Look how popular Isaiah Mustafa was as the Old Spice Guy. That wasn’t an accident.

    Comment by MusicGrrrl – April 20, 2012 11:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • IIRC, ABC = American Broadcasting Company, not White Broadcasting Company.
      Your claim would make sense if ABC were a white equivalent of BET, like WET or something.
      If WET wants to cast an all-white cast and discriminate against blacks, then fine, but for ABC to do so, not so cool.

      A step in the right direction would be for ABC to cast Roberto Martinez as their next Bachelor. He’s Hispanic, super-hot and very likable, was cast on Ali’s season and WON, but he and Ali broke up recently. Women of all races would be lined up around the block to sign up to be on his cast.

      Final suggestion – they could start with Bachelor Pad. That’s just a game show with hookups anyways. Plus this year they are taking some fresh meat – most of the cast are Bachelor/ette castoffs, but they are allowing the viewing audience to compete for a few spots on The B’Pad. Get some hot people of color in that way, male & female, and make them your next Bachelor/ettes in upcoming seasons!

      Comment by the explanation – April 20, 2012 11:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Fox has that new Jennifer Lopez show, Q’Viva, that is only for Latin talent and it’s on FOX, which is not Latin Broadcasting Company.

        Comment by MusicGrrrl – April 20, 2012 12:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Q’Viva is a search for talent throughout Central & South America. It is race blind. “Latin” people are white, black, indigenous/indian, even asian (descended from japanese people who moved there after WW2). It does not discrimate based on race.

          That’s like saying that an australian travel show is at fault for not showcasing canadian cities…

          Comment by the explanation – April 20, 2012 10:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Okay, first of all there would never be a “WET” or ” white entertainment channel” as you put it because that would invite an immediate lawsuit.

        Comment by Jaded – April 20, 2012 02:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Exactly what I thought. There are channel devoted to different races because they are minorities and it’s difficult to find diversity on network television. To make a specialty channel for white people would be unecessary and would be percieved as racist.

          Comment by dude – April 20, 2012 03:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • So if, as is expected in the next decade or two, whites are no longer the majority of Americans, would a “White Broadcasting Network” be more acceptable?

        Comment by Rock Golf – April 20, 2012 09:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Lol r u for real. Whites gonna be the minority? Lol we make up over 70 percent of the country and counting. What r we all gonna die off in 10 years? The blacks r a dying breed. Jail. Aids mixed couples etc. Blacks r now 3rd in america behind the illegal mexicans. But we beefed up border so the past year there’s been less and less mexicans

          Comment by mark – April 21, 2012 09:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Dude, are you for real. First, we make up 70% of the country and falling. With the constant influx of immigrants (not only from Mexico) from all over the world, the number of white americans does not have to fall for the percent of the population to decline. Think dilution. As for illegal Mexican immigration, believe me, under Obama the boarder is more poreous than it has ever been. They are flocking over in droves. The dems love them and are always trying to find a way to give them citizenship so they have an ever increasing supply of voting democrats.

            Comment by Brett – April 21, 2012 10:00 AM PDT  
          • Mark you are an ignorant and racist bitch. Go back to the 1800s where u would fit in. Try sucking on the barrel of a pistol because u deserve to die

            Comment by djohnson – July 4, 2012 09:35 AM PDT  
      • This is a business and they need to worry about ratings. Would ratings drop if the Bachelor or Bachelorette was black? Of course they would, as not every white woman is attracted to black men. Just as every black woman is not attracted to white men. That doesn’t make anybody racist (studies show our adult attractions are formed long before we reach puberty). The show is selling romantic fantasies and its audience wants to see men of their fantasies. And its audience is clearly white women (is somebody out there going to claim this show has high minority viewership?). At this point in the franchise, they know better who their audience is than anybody else, and they’ve just decided to play to them. If this were The Amazing Race or Surivivor, the lily-whiteness would be much more appalling. But it’s not. It’s a dating show airing in a country that still has millions of people who cannot tolerate that we have a black president! Let’s worry about that and not what a bunch of sluts and tools are doing for an hour every week.

        Comment by KevyB – April 21, 2012 04:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • And Michael, I didn’t know your husband was black or that you met him on Match.com. That sounds like an interesting story in itself. Probably a lot more interesting than any season of The Bachelor.

    Comment by MusicGrrrl – April 20, 2012 11:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was thinking the same thing!

      Comment by sneakin – April 20, 2012 11:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • me too! please do tell!

        Comment by the explanation – April 20, 2012 11:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t think it should be mandated that they cast people based on race, either way. They should at least be more OPEN to it.

    Because maybe if they start casting the net a little wider than what the Bachelor/ette thinks s/he wants, they could produce a coupling that actually lasts for more than 6 months.

    Comment by Hahaha... – April 20, 2012 11:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yeah, I’m with the others–if they didn’t cast the new Bachelor/ette solely out of the rejected contestants, it wouldn’t be as much of a big deal as there could be the possibility of diversity with a non-white Bachelor/ette. All the VH1 dating shows have been diverse, and often maintained that racial mix well into the last few weeks of the show. It’s really saying something when the weird parody of a show is more open than the original.

    Also, do they always know who the Bachelor/ette will be when they begin casting?

    Comment by Clio – April 20, 2012 11:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They’ve only used recycled castoffs as the next bachelor/ette in these last 6 cycles or so. Before that, they’ve used all sorts of people, like Jerry O’connor’s brother, an Italian “prince”, the heir to the Firestone fortune, etc. They’ve even used the same Bachelor twice, and the next upcoming Bachelorette is actually a castoff from several seasons ago, not just the last one.

      So no, it’s not an Act of Congress that the next Bachelor/ette be a castoff from the previous season. They can cast whoever the heck they want to, for any reason at all.

      Comment by the explanation – April 20, 2012 11:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am a black male and I think the class action lawsuit is ridiculous. ABC shouldnt be obligated to cast black people if they dont want to. Its all about demographics these days.

    Plus, if BET decided to make an all-black version of The Bachelor without any whites, no one would bat an eye.

    This is a non-issue.

    Comment by Nicotine – April 20, 2012 11:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think you got it backwards. No one is forcing ABC to cast blacks. ABC is discriminating against blacks and Asians. Through their actions and decisions they’ve said no Blacks, no exceptions meaning they don’t get in the door. That is not a non-issue.

      As far as demographics, that is a rather lazy and cowardly argument. TV history is filled with shows that bucked demographics and became phenomenal successes and just as full of ‘play-it-safe’ mediocrity that followed demographics to cancellation. Did the mighty demographics presage Modern Family with it’s openly gay couple adopting a little girl? Demographics are used to set advertising rates and that is all they should taken for.

      Comment by LittleBlueDragon – April 20, 2012 01:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • But are there actually a lot of actor wannabes who are A. black, B. willing to submit themselves to reality TV AND C. have an interesting personality? That sounds like a very narrow pool to me. LA’s full of delusional white A-holes that want to be on TV, so no shortage of them.

        Comment by TigerNightmare – April 20, 2012 04:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • There seem to no shortage of black/latino/asian people on other reality shows, such as Survivor, Amazing Race, Masterchef/Hell’s Kitchen, American Idol/The Voice/X-Factor.

          The “narrow pool” has been argued many times to justify racist casting (I’m flashing back to The Last Airbender now). I don’t buy it. There are 42 million African-Americans in this country. Out of that number, I’ll bet The Batchelor could find 25 who’d like to be on TV.

          Comment by Teresa – April 21, 2012 08:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ABC should be sued.

    But at the end of the day… it’s still The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise…

    Comment by Karen L. – April 20, 2012 11:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is one of the main reasons I never watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette. It’s not that difficult to cast a person of color as the one looking for love, and that opens the door to more diversity, but it’s obvious that ABC doesn’t want that since they’ve never had a minority as a bachelor/bachelorette.

    The best thing about reality TV is that the producers create the reality and they choose to cast it that way. Therein lies the problem for me.

    And for people who say that if they had a version of The Bachelor on BET without white people no one would bat an eye, they shouldn’t, because it’s a niche network. They probably wouldn’t have a heterosexual match-making show on Logo either, so that point is moot.

    Comment by Kira (@KiraJW) – April 20, 2012 11:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, except for when a network did create a same-sex dating show they added the “surprise” that more than half the contestants weren’t even gay and part of the “fun” was to see if the bachelor could figure it out. Also, Logo just launched a show about that 6 year old fame wh*re pageant girl who I am pretty sure isn’t a lesbian, so they do not limit their programming to gay people only.

      Comment by djm – April 20, 2012 12:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How is that even a lawsuit? Private entities like ABC cannot violate one’s constitutional rights. Only the government and its agents can do that.

    That being said, this show is an absolutely ridiculous waste of space, it’s so horrifyingly corporate that I don’t understand how anyone watches it anymore.

    Comment by Sasha – April 20, 2012 11:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Has anyone seen the guys that are suing the show? One of them is “ugly as hell” as my mother said as soon as she saw him and the other one has wider hips than any woman I’ve ever seen and isn’t a looker either.

    Comment by Amber – April 20, 2012 11:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It’s a class-action lawsuit. It’s not like the two guys themselves are suing. They are just the two cases being used in the suit. But yeah, to make the class-action case stronger, they should use good looking people to front the suit, since Bachelor/ette does discriminate on beauty (no ugly people allowed!).

      Comment by the explanation – April 20, 2012 11:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It’s a class action lawsuit because these two guys expect other former cast members to sign on; none of which have, as of yet & probably won’t. It’s basically merit-less. They ask the Bachelor/Bachelorette their preferences. You can’t force someone to date you I’d they don’t want to. Whether you’re black, Asian, cripple, retarded or a midget; if they don’t like your “type”, they don’t like your type. They should be glad they tried to let them down easy & didn’t put them on blast, like on American Idol.

        Comment by realist – April 20, 2012 11:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Not specific to The Bachelor, as long as there are all black casts or all latina casts of shows, that a show is all white shouldn’t draw any comment at all. Maybe BET should start their own version of The Bachelor?

    Comment by jmk – April 20, 2012 11:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Your suggestion implies that ABC = White Entertainment Television, not *American* Broadcasting Company. If a new white-only network formed and called itself WET (or similar) and cast a white-only Bachelor/ette show, then that’d make more sense and match your BET suggestion. But for ABC to be considered a whites-only space for a multi-ethnic country is just so last-century.

      (FWIW, BET, Univision, ZeeTV, and even VH1 and MTV have had dating shows, and they’ve tended to be multi-ethnic.)

      Comment by the explanation – April 20, 2012 11:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I guarantee you if someone tried to start the White Entertainment Network, there would be screams of racism. If it’s an issue in one show, it would definitely be an issue for a network! And ABC isn’t considered a “whites-only space” as you put it. It’s just the one show apparently.

        Comment by MusicGrrrl – April 20, 2012 12:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Maybe it’s because blacks are still a MINORITY on almost every other TV network. Don’t act like you can’t turn to almost any station and NOT see a white person. In media, news, TV shows, whites are still predominantly featured. So when blacks try to support their own, it’s a problem?

          Comment by lola – April 20, 2012 12:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Exactly. There is clearly a valid reason for networks like BET. I see that as a completely acceptable and needed venue, and it’s so not the same as some ridiculous comment about trying to start an all white network. There isn’t a solid representation of most ethnicities on mainstream, network TV, so why shouldn’t there be specific channels that cater to them?

            Comment by tripoli – April 20, 2012 02:37 PM PDT  
  • From what I’ve heard, the Bachelor/Bachelorette has little to no say in who is cast for their season. The only one who was really involved in the process was Jen Schefft, and we saw how well that worked out for the show.

    Comment by erin – April 20, 2012 11:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You can’t force people to date blacks. Sorry. Cut the PC crap.

    Comment by Ben Kabak – April 20, 2012 11:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m sure you can’t force people to date you either. FREEDOM OF SPEECH FOR ALL! :D

      Comment by A – April 20, 2012 12:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It’s not about forcing anyone to date someone. I find it a little hard to believe that in all the seasons of this stupid show that there wasn’t at least one bachelor/bachelorette who was attracted to someone who isn’t white. And beyond the producers throwing in the odd person to quiet the nay sayers. As the article stated, those contestants are gone pretty quickly. If who they cast each season is indicative of what the person is attracted to in reality, then fine. Still don’t see why they couldn’t choose someone of color to be the lead though.

      Comment by tripoli – April 20, 2012 02:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Who cares its a show that encourages women to be gold-digging, deceitful, slutty & easy to get a man. I’m glad more women of color aren’t on the show. Shows our women aren’t whorish like white broads.

    Comment by realist – April 20, 2012 11:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Your post made me LOL, but then I remembered the show “Flavor of Love” and your argument kind of lost its steam.

      Comment by MusicGrrrl – April 20, 2012 12:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • There are whorish broads of ALL races. Next.

      Comment by lola – April 20, 2012 12:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Here’s the thing. Looking at it from a legal standpoint, this case definitely does have merit. Whether or not it will and should be held up in a court of law will be determined. However, the merit is certainly there. It is not legal, nor should it be, for any Corporation to actively seek non-caucasian individuals to participate in their programs. However, as suggested in the article this, in my opinion, does not pertain to shows in which scripted reality is depicted. Because the fact is that on Modern Family, it wouldn’t make sense to have an African American character. And looking specifically at other programs on ABC, (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Happy Endings, etc.) many of these shows do have African American Actors. Scandal is one of the first shows that has a main dominant African American female character and it’s one of my favorites of this season. I don’t think that ABC needs to take the fall for this. But it will hopefully cause The Bachelor and Bachelorette to try to do a more realistic scan of an average American.

    Comment by Rob – April 20, 2012 11:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I politely disagree with your statement that the case has merit. As this is a television show I believe they have the right to cast whomever they chose to fit the role that they need to fill. Your statement reminded me of a story I heard. I work in the casino industry – and the coctail servers are all female. When a male (who was well qualified for the job by the way) applied for the job as coctail server, he was turned down because the “entertainment” qualification called for women. Not men. While I though he would have had a case for descrimination – it is well within their rights in the entertainment industry to “cast” according to how they’ve set up the specifications. I think the same applies. I would say consider not necessarily that minorities are not cast, but if the role calls for white males or white females they have every right to cast according to those specifications and not necessarily cast a minority. Imagine if they did a tv show about George Washington. Would someone have the right to sue because the actor that plays George Washington isn’t black or asian? Just sayin.

      Comment by songbyrd86 – April 22, 2012 10:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am simply not attracted to people of different ethnicities, as a general rule. If I were the Bachelor/ette I would want to have some say in the general characteristics of the person I wanted to date. We all have our preferences (race, gender, etc.) and there is nothing wrong with that. I always found it insulting when I would see a “token” person of a different race because you knew they were just being kept around for a few episodes to keep the PC police at bay.

    Comment by JB – April 20, 2012 11:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I generally found myself attracted to men with dark hair, but married a blond. The happiest couples I know are the ones who branched out beyond their ‘type.’

      Comment by Taylor – April 20, 2012 01:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • A lot of people can look beyond their usual physical or personality type when its someone of their own race but unfortunately a lot of people can’t or won’t when its someone of another race.

        Comment by anonymous – April 21, 2012 06:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Have you ever watched the Bachelor/ette? It is cast for drama, not for preferences of the lead. They cast the usual set of characters – the guy who cries too much, the sensitive songwriter or guitar player, the guy who wants to pick a fight, the guy who gets picked on by everyone, the muscle guy, etc. Out of 25 suitors, only about 5 of them are the ones where the bachelorette might actually be attracted to them. The rest are cast to make the interaction between the men seem entertaining (or at least lulzworthy) for the first 3/4 of the show, until the hometown visits, when it really starts to focus more on “romance”. Even if the white bachelorette only likes white suitors, there’s no reason that many, and not just a few, of those other 15-20 characters can’t be men of color. And same thing (visa versa) for The Bachelor and his female suitors.

      Comment by the explanation – April 21, 2012 11:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well-reasoned argument, and well-written piece! Kudos Slezak!

    Comment by lariet50 – April 20, 2012 11:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • But if you simply tune out and don’t worry yourself about it, aren’t you accepting it as something that’s OK or something you can’t change? If we don’t talk about racism, it’s never going to change. And perhaps this doesn’t belong in a courtroom, perhaps it does, but I would also like to throw out that this is completely different to the casting of dramas and other fictional programmes, who need to find people who are believable as the pre-written characters, not to mention the fact that once they have cast one member of a fictional family, all other members of the family will probably have to belong to the same race. So let’s say one really good Mrs Smith walks in, happens to be white and acts the character perfectly – then Mr Smith and the Smith children, siblings, grandparents etc will most likely have to be white too. It’s a lot easier to be diverse in the casting of a show where the only requirement is that your participants have to want to be famous.

    Comment by rachelrtw – April 20, 2012 12:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is a bottom feeder show of pretty crazy pervs on parade. Nah I dont want blah peeps on a show like that. Those two football players should build their social credentials by supporting STEM education in the AA community. There’s nothing sexier than a rich hot blah man doing something to help others.

    Comment by HouseObssessedAgain – April 20, 2012 12:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think its a good idea. I mean they probably aren’t doing it for legit reasons, look at how much press they’ve gotten for this “crazy lawsuit” and they are making their issues known. Good for them.

    Tv is too whitewashed, and if it takes some lawsuits to see some change, then I welcome them.

    And to all the people who are arguing that BET has no white people (or other such similar argument)…of course it wouldn’t matter that way, white people are more priviledged than anyone else. We don’t get threatened by our “lack of representation” because there is no lack. Turn on the tv and you’ll see white people. Not so much for other groups

    Comment by mia – April 20, 2012 12:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thank you. I tried to post something similar on The Daily Mail multiple times. They wouldn’t post my comment, and they only let the “what about BET?!” comments through.

      Comment by lola – April 20, 2012 12:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Well your first mistake was reading a Daily Mail article that has to do with race. It’s the British equivalent of FOX news.

        Comment by JR – April 20, 2012 06:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I didn’t know that at all. I found it out tonight though. Thanks

          Comment by lola – April 21, 2012 12:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I will say that this is an aberration in casting. If you’re a white chick trying to get into the pit area of American idol, I say good luck to you. They will pull any ethnic looking girl or guy from the back of the place and kick you out because they want to look diversified. It’s ridiculous.

    Comment by SandiegoCat – April 20, 2012 12:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • And Slezak, as a white person you really can’t use the “does it really matter? I don’t see a difference” excuse (which you do in the article). So glad the white guy thinks its fine, all those black people should too.

    And yes, your married to a man of colour, that doesn’t validate your stance. Its the same as the “I’m not racist, I have a black friend” excuse.

    Comment by mia – April 20, 2012 12:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed. This is about whether an employer violated EEOP laws. This isn’t about whether people should want those jobs or not.

      Comment by the explanation – April 21, 2012 11:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What do I think? I think that I only read this article because I am a fan of Michael Slezak’s and like to read what he writes, and because the headline intrigued me. This just gives me one more reason to abhor this trashy, vapid, ridiculous show that I never watch anyway.

    Comment by blingedup – April 20, 2012 12:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t watch ‘reality tv’ very often, and I’m as white as you can get, but I’ve been disgusted by the fact that after as many seasons as they’ve had, neither the bachelor or bachelorette have ever been anything besides white. I think it’s about time they got called out.

    I also find it disturbing that it would in any way be okay if the bachelor or bachelorette indicated a preference based on skin tone and the show cast accordingly. Surely they’re looking for the season’s ‘star’ to be looking for something a little deeper. Although maybe that would explain why they’ve had so many duds…

    Comment by Taylor – April 20, 2012 12:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They’re right– it’s completely unfair. Why should black people be spared the cringing discomfort of seeing people they can relate to debase themselves in every possible way to win the “love” of some vapid famewhore? They should have to run just as much of a risk as the rest of us that someone who looks vaguely like them might be cast on the show, and being doomed to at least eight months of being mistaken for “that girl who deep-throated a banana at the opening cocktail party.” Equal embarrassment for all!

    Comment by Daisyj – April 20, 2012 12:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ABC should be sued for airing the Bachelor/Bachelorette at all since like most ‘reality’ shows it is as fake as it comes. These couples have a higher breakup rate than the US divorce rate. That is after the finale airs.

    Comment by BillK – April 20, 2012 12:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • These reality shows are so idiotic, blacks should consider it a compliment not to be cast. If anyone is offended, follow my example: don’t watch! Then this drivel will be cancelled.

    Comment by Temis – April 20, 2012 12:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Seeing that ABC (the American Broadcasting Network) is a channel that airs in everyone homes meaning that they have more eyeballs than most cable networks I think that they should do a better job of being more diverse on their reality tv shows. I don’t watch the Bachelor but I think that everyone should have an equal opportunity to make a fool of themselves on national television.

    Comment by TB – April 20, 2012 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While The Bachelor is hardly the hill I want to die on for the war of Equal Treatment, it’s still worth calling ABC and The Bachelor/Bachelorette on it. ‘Color-blind’ isn’t ignoring racism when it right in front of you. The preference rationale is as flimsy as the defense of diversity. ABC and network broadcasting in general have no problem finding casting for other non-scripted shows, why should the Bachelor be any different? Does ‘Dancing with the Stars’ have to shoot for a comfort level with their dancers or ‘Survivor’ with the other contestants?

    The cynic in me knows ABC will push for diversity when the ratings really start to slide. Diversity is the go to strategy when scandal or boredom set in. I just wish it didn’t take that to open up a show. I wish the producers and casting took an unbiased look and say this guy/girl is bringing something I want on my show.

    Comment by LittleBlueDragon – April 20, 2012 12:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While there is little to defend on the show, there was an Asian girl on Jake the Pilots season. The girl who got booted for her plane/landing strip joke.

    Comment by my366in2012 – April 20, 2012 02:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think casting only white people for this show is actually a discrimination against WHITE people.

    Comment by idit – April 20, 2012 02:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Look The B et al is embarassing to women but black women and men should be able to make fools of themselves just like white people. There are some fine Latino and AA men that would run circles around the past recent bachelors. Lets open it up people!

    Comment by AngieJ – April 20, 2012 09:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • People saying that they should let equal opportunity to embarrass everyone….did you not hear or see ‘Flavor of Love?’

    Comment by lola – April 21, 2012 12:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have to agree that the producers and the studio who produces this show should be sued. It’s abhorrent that the studio, in the 20 year history of this show has never cast a single black person as the bachelorette in this show. It sounds like racism still exists at this studio.

    I’m white and I find it an insult to our country that ABC Studios is living with the KKK in the 60′s and the 70′s. Someone needs to tell ABC that this is the 21st century.

    Comment by kimera – April 22, 2012 09:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • According to the US Census, African Americans make up 13% of the US population so why cater to them? TV shows aren’t about entertainment – they are about advertising dollars garnered via attracting an audience.

    ABC is playing it safe with an all white cast and appealing to the majority. I know many white women who will not date black men because they’ve met too many black men who turned out to be “players”. Is that all black men? Of course not. But some women don’t want to take that chance and therefore they probably wouldn’t watch a show with a black bachelor and networks can’t afford to turn off audiences.

    As for a having an African American bachelorette…there are whole studies that have been done about the plight of the African American women. Many black men tend to want white women and white men generally do not want black women so these women are sort of stuck. Again, this is not my opinion. Studies have been done so feel free to Google. Hollywood is trying to change that but I’m not sure how successful they’ll be – I know a lot of men and I’ve only ever met one white guy who dated black women.

    None of this is about right or wrong – it’s about attracting the biggest audience you can to keep the dollars flowing in! The show may be about love but it’s really just business, people.

    Comment by Tracy – April 22, 2012 10:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t think the casting is racism. Even though there are mixed-race relationships out there, which is all well and good, the majority of couples are of like/similar race/ethnicity. I don’t see why they don’t switch it up sometime and have an all African-American cast. Even better, why not thrown in a couple of token whites (like they used to do the other way around), and see how long they last.

    I don’t think the show would be any less entertaining. Everything in television is ratings based, and I imagine ABC and the producers figure their audience would drop off. I think it would be interesting to change it up.

    Comment by Gregg – April 22, 2012 12:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have some questions. Does every single race have to be represented on every single show to achieve equity? ABC has appx. 140 hours of programming a week – as long as all races are represented fairly within that 140 hours, is that not good enough? I don’t know if they’re right or wrong, but apparently the people with the financial stake in The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise feel that a mixed race cast or an all African-American cast would cost them revenue, that ratings would drop. Are they wrong to protect their investment? What if I went for a casting call where they wanted a petite perky blonde for an oatmeal commercial. I’m a heavier white brunette. It’s oatmeal so it doesn’t really matter, but that’s what they want. Is that some form of discrimination or do they have the right to cast who they want? I enjoy all sorts of programming from The Bachelor to Law and Order, from House of Payne to Pysch, Modern Family, Happy Endings. But when I watch The Bachelor, well I’m white and my fantasies all revolve around white men. Does that make me a racist? If an African-American woman only fantasizes about African-American men, does that make her a racist?

    Comment by millie – April 22, 2012 02:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m sorry. In Texas whites are the minority (at least in San Antonio) and a lot of other Texas towns whites are becoming the minority. I think whites should be able to have their own network. Mexicans will soon be the majority. I don’t see a problem with having whites be the majority in Hollywood. Black people with connections can make their own show. Or whatever race.

    Comment by Christa Sloan – April 22, 2012 04:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • poor whitey! waaaaaaaaah! lemme cry you a river while playing my tiny violin. I hope you get your own network one day being so oppressed and all. Next February I’m dedicating black history month to you!

      Comment by Heaven – April 23, 2012 07:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • this is such a Pop Watch post. glad to see TVLine branching out!

    Comment by noa – April 24, 2012 09:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ve never watched the show so I am curious… Has the show featured any Bachelors or Bachelorettes over 40? Perhaps if they had people who looked like me, I would consider watching. OR participating,

    Comment by donna – April 24, 2012 09:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • When I moved to America (late 1880′s) I was amazed that the dating shows (which I find icky, but there were less channels then) were so segregated. 1st segment would show a white guy choosing from 3 white girls, 2nd segment a black guy would choose from 3 black girls, there was absolutely no mix ‘n match and none of my American friends found it in any way unusual or even noticed the segregation.

    Comment by Jimmy – April 25, 2012 07:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This lawsuit is not a positive step forward for equal rights, it’s a step forward for equal stupidity. A lot of people have noted the lack of diversity on this show. The people filing this suit should see it as a compliment.

    Comment by Tracey Livesay – April 30, 2012 01:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s not a black or white issue. That show needs to be more diverse! Its should represent America and it doesn’t. Why only a white bachelor? There are more than only good looking white men. Handsome men exist in all nationalities. Very disappointed in this show

    Comment by lyd – May 21, 2012 11:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i dont see asians or hispanics causing trouble about this.. why are black people always ready to shout racism. the bachelor is clearly primarily white as we have not seen asians or hispanics on the show.. if you want a show with a black bachelor, go watch the flavor flav show

    Comment by Tony – June 12, 2012 07:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I use to watch the Bachelor/ette but found it to be quite off setting when I realized after a couple season’s that they never cast an African American, Latino American or Asian American as the Bachelor/ette. And in the recent years when I’ve watched it’s because someone I know just happened to have it on their television set and I realized that there’re no people of color on the show. (period) I don’t know if a lawsuit is the answer… but some of the comments on here are utterly appalling. The notion that most “white women” won’t date AA men is completely false… not only will they date them…they will bed them… and have their children… marry them… etc…might piss off their dad but they do it. If the producers of the Bachlor/ette had at least attempted to have a diverse cast, on even one occasion and the ratings dropped or the show was less entertaining then I could see where the demographic argument would have some merit, but they haven’t so no one really knows what will happen. Personally the idea of a woman/man living in a house with twenty-five men/women swapping spit with several of them on a daily basis turns my stomach. And if the Bachelor/ette is “hot” enough regardless of the race… they will be able to find 25 people of the opposite sex who are more than willing to get on TV to date them.

    Comment by -Tabia Theresa Lockhart -Moreland – June 18, 2012 10:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • can you imagine the carnage? We would have the first live game show murder….25 angry black contestants….yikes. I’d watch

      Comment by Todd Nedved – June 9, 2013 05:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Let BET make their own show if they want some noogies on it. Nobody want’s to see some ghetto people on there.

    Comment by bro-man – July 22, 2012 06:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • in my eddie murphy voice from SNL kill the white people yeah lol

      Comment by smacktalk – July 31, 2012 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • We life-size Brad dolls-from 1970-72,Brad was Barbie’s then-boyfriend Ken’s handsome black buddy-have disappeared from the large and small screen,which is why this boyishly handsome,59-year-old black Canadian lad is thinking of writing my own reality TV series.

    Comment by HandsomeLustyBlackLadBrad1953 – August 1, 2012 07:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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