Nashville, Tenn., residents Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson announced in a press release today that they plan to file a class action lawsuit against ABC's The Bachelor reality-dating television franchise for racial discrimination.
They say The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have intentionally excluded of people of color and have, over a period of 10 years and a combined total of 23 seasons, never featured a single person of color in their central roles.
Claybrooks and Johnson, both of whom are African American, are requesting class action status for the case, which they say they'll file in federal court on Wednesday morning.
We're going to go ahead and file limited opportunities to date for all the world to see during prime time under "Things that aren't anywhere near the top of the black community's list of problems." But evidently, equal access to rose ceremonies is a pressing issue for some. (And one thing is clear: The creators of the shows certainly can't say they didn't have any options to choose from when it came to non-white stars. Read about Lamar Hurd, who isn't involved in the lawsuit but would love to be the next "Bachelor," here.)
The ethnic makeup of the show's participants is quite obviously at odds with the reality of America's diversity, and with the fact that plenty of people are open to finding love with someone with a racial identity other than their own. But we'll be interested to see how the plaintiffs argue that the out-of-touch casting that's come to be expected in reality-dating programs goes beyond being silly and outdated and actually breaks a law.