Will Diversity on "The Bachelor" Really Make a Difference?
1 year ago
Loop 21 was on the phone for the lawsuit press conference
Remember Lamar Hurd? He started making waves online with a campaign he created urging ABC honchos to choose him as the first Black "Bachelor" on their hit reality TV show. Hurd has since taken a meeting with the network execs. However, in an ironic twist of fate, a lawsuit has been filed against the popular ABC chain for discrimination.
Two Black men, Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson (an All-American football player and an aspiring National Football League player, respectively) auditioned for the title role and are suing ABC on behalf of all other persons of color have done the same, but got denied equal opportunity for selection on the basis of race.
(The case alleges that ABC violated both federal and California laws intended to guarantee equal opportunity in business, commerce, and media regardless of one’s skin color. The men are also suing Warner Horizon Television, Inc., Next Entertainment, Inc., NZK Productions, Inc., and Michael Fleiss, the executive producer of the franchise).
I participated in a press conference yesterday on behalf of Loop 21 and listened to why these Nashville residents are suing ABC for the intentional exclusion of persons of color over the course of 23 seasons. Both men felt they were treated unfairly and denied a proper shot at auditioning for the show.
Claybrooks and Johnson applied during an open casting call for “The Bachelor” in August 2011. Claybrooks claimed that his interview process took less than half the time of white applicants in front of him, while Johnson alleges he didn’t get the opportunity to even make it to the second level. “I was stopped by a young gentleman about five feet into the door. He saw fit to ask me exactly what was I doing here,” Johnson said.
“Looking back at how I was treated at the casting call last year, it was clear that that wasn’t possible—I never even had a chance,” added Claybooks.
[ALSO READ: Will a Black 'Bachelor' Be Stereotyped?]