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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