Oh Brother: Two Black Men Filing Discrimination Suit Against ‘The Bachelor’

April 17, 2012  |  

A big fuss has been made over Lamar Hurd appearing on next season of ABC’s “The Bachelor” because it would be the first time in 16 seasons that an African American man would be headlining the show. Though the creators of the series have claimed they never purposely excluded black men or women from appearing on the show or its counterpart, “The Bachelorette,” that hasn’t stopped two black men in Nashville from coming forward with a suit crying discrimination.

MSNBC and the Washington Informer report that Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, an All-American football player and an aspiring NFL player plan to file a class action suit tomorrow morning claiming that “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” intentionally discriminate against persons of color, citing the fact that no person of color has ever had the main role on either show in the combined 23 episodes that have aired over 10 years.

Since that’s all these news outlets have reported, the lawsuit seems a little random, but TMZ claims to have uncovered more details. According to the site, both men went to a Nashville hotel to audition for the role of  the bachelor. Christopher  claims when he arrived a producer asked him what he was doing there. Nathaniel adds that they were taken to the side of the room and left out of the normal audition process, and neither was obviously called back, which they say is because of their race.

The plaintiffs are scheduled to discuss their lawsuit around 2:30 pm tomorrow in a press conference at the Nashville office of co-counsel Byron Perkins of Perkins-Law LLC, and a number of parties are expected to be sued, including ABC, Warner Horizon Television, Next Entertainment, NZK Productions, and the show’s creator Mike Fleiss.

Considering the show has no doubt excluded thousands of people for miscellaneous reasons over the past 10 years, it could be hard to prove this claim, but the fact that we haven’t seen any other colors on the show besides blonde hair and blue eyes might at least give them a leg to stand on.

Do you think these men have any chance of winning this lawsuit?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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  • CA Pullen

    I think it is pointless.  This guy that suppose to be the prospective batchleor, he is more than likely is going to sleep with all 26 of the women on the show. Unfortunately, black guys lay up with any and everything.  I think these two guys who is supposing to be suing the show because of discrimination I think they want to get on the show like the comment below just to get 5 seconds of fame and get with all those women and brag about it.  Sad!

    • R.C.

      Yep, that sums it up about them

  • Colliz6

    They will never be able to prove discrimination. There are a million and one reasons the creators could come up with for not choosing these men. Personally i see enough BM slobbering all over WW in the media as it is. We don’t need this show adding to the ridiculous hype. If they know what’s good for them they’ll drop this ridiculous lawsuit.

  • emily

    lmbo…we are not all the same (i really don’t have a problem with it), plus we watched flavor flav and ray j do it.  seems the majority of wm and ww don’t want to see it.  you know good and well our opinions (bw) are a non factor in their decision making process:)

    • Breeheart

      well, the problem w/flava flav and ray j is that they don’t come across as the professional man. who wants to watch black people engage in buffoonery all of the time? i, for one, am tired of watching us fight, curse and scream each other out. it’d be nice to see some positive brothas and sistas with intelligence, charm and grace for a change.

      • emily

        true, true…..

      • Yeah….OK

        Thank u cus all they cast on them vh1 shows are ghetto hood rats and everything ratchet…. They won’t even put intelligent women/men on those shows supposedly “made for blacks” yet we are all supposed to get out entertainment from them, I’m not entertained by that…. So what about me???

  • emily

    out of all the things to fight for….smh

  • Soulsis

    I think it is ridiculous to even file a lawsuit, what right do these brothers have to make the show creators producers etc. conform to include them on THEIR show.  I mean is there a contract that states they have to include blacks? Are these men part of the creation or production of the show, GTFOH!! FReedom of F$#cking speech okay! Also, I am offended by THis black guy trying to campaign to be on a show that was created for white women. I mean Girlfriends was created with a black female demographic in mind (so was Love Jones and I could go on), I personally would have been offended if two Asian men would have brought a civil suit against Mara Brock Akil for the same reason (I use this as an example because I don’t remember any Asian men on the show) Seriously black people, we don’t have to be apart of erhhything! Let’s do our own Sh#t!  To mad to check spelling or grammer.

  • Truthhurtz

    I’m not really understanding what doing all of that is going to accomplish. It’s a dang dating show. Not that serious.

  • Souldream

    Who said this guy is appearing on the Bachelor isn’t that a tad bit presumptuous?

  • This is a reality show.  As such, it is classified as entertainment.  This is not a job – it is for a part in a production.  These shows have casting calls – not employment interviews.  They have zero chance of winning a lawsuit like this.  If so, it would impact the casting for all television and movie roles.  Entertainment vehicles are cast based upon target audience.  You want a black, asian, indian, etc. Bachelor or Bachelorette television competition?  Pitch it to the studios.  HOw about this for discrimination – why haven’t we seen a 40-something bachelorette or bachelor?  The oldest Bachelor has only been 40.  Anyone who has ever been to a casting call can testify as to how brutal it is to even get seen.  There is REAL discrimination out there.  Let’s focus on that.

  • Africanpride

    Let’s stop fighting to get these white people’s approval. We can work toward creating our own lives, businesses, TV shows that will portray a better image of us.

    • emily

      that’s one show they can keep as far as i’m concerned…they don’t even last

  • Heart of Gold

    Im up in the air about this one.  There are about 1million other reality shows these guys could have auditioned for that are more “black friendly”  Why bother auditioning for The Bachelor?  Did they truly want to be on there or did they anticipate this and want their 15 min of fame and some cash?  Only time will tell, but i wish them the best of luck with whatever they decide to do.  Theyre going to need it. 

  • NikkitaMichelle

    We’ve been on the show pursuing the bachelor or the bachelorette.  But it’s obvious that the people that they’ve chosen do not date outside their race and the blacks are eliminated quite early. 

  • NikkitaMichelle

    They don’t believe that the world wants to see a bunch of white women fighting over some black dude.  Nor do they think that the black women who could be cast would know how to act and that they would behave like those silly women on BBW.  They are feeding into the stereotypes that VH1 is happy to provide to us weekly.

    • FromUR2UB

      Yesssss.  Let’s all get behind this one.  Rally for the black man to get on the show so he’ll have 25 white women to run after.  (rolling my eyes)

      Oh, I’m sure there’ll be a token black woman or two, but he won’t pick ’em.

  • Htpnksuga

    There actually was ONE black woman on the show but it was either on the first season of the bachelor or really really early on in the show but that is the only one I remember

  • KIR12

    White men and black women don’t want to see a brother dry humping and bust’n slob with Becky on national TV. lol But we know they’re watching a brother get down behind close doors when no one is looking.

    What’s the #1 adult film that grosses 1 mil a month? Kim K and Ray J

  • Business406

    They should take their time money and effort and create a dating show for blacks. They’ll never be able to prove their case. What ate they trying to get? Money? A spot on the show? Perhaps just 15 mins of fame.

    • NikkitaMichelle

      Unfortunately those efforts look like for the Love of Ray J and the Ultimate Merger (which wasn’t to bad with Tocarra).  Which are all on cable networks and not on local television like the Bachelor. 

      • Yeah….OK

        Thank u !!! so these people are saying we can’t be on mainstream but are segregated to ghetto vh1 lol O OK…. Like their pristine ABC can’t be touched????

    • Lady A

      My sentiments exactly.