In Nashville, Tennessee, Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, two African American men, claimed that they were not selected to appear on the television show “The Bachelorette” because of discrimination on the part of the producers. They sued the ABC network back in April for discriminating against nonwhite participants. They charged that it was the show’s policy not to put Black, Asian, or Hispanics in the leading role on those shows. With this lawsuit, Claybrooks and Johnson wanted to encourage more social acceptance of interracial relationships and wanted the networks to stop perpetuating “outdated racial stereotypes.”
The court ruled that the network’s casting decisions and the messages that they want to communicate are protected by the First Amendment. U.S. District Court Judge Aleta Trauger wrote:
“Ultimately, whatever messages `The Bachelor’ and `The Bachelorette’ communicate or are intended to communicate ““ whether explicitly, implicitly, intentionally, or otherwise ““ the First Amendment protects the right of the producers of these shows to craft and control those messages, based on whatever considerations the producers wish to take into account,”
BMWK – So we would like to hear from you. Do you think that ABC is discriminating by not selecting non-white leads for those shows? Personally, I think the network is going to do what they think will bring the most views and money to the network. If BET or TV One were to start a dating show like that right now (they might have one), should they be forced to have White or Asian bachelors? Should we focus on making our own images and then supporting others that produce shows with those images?