A U.S. District Court in Tennessee Monday dismissed a suit that alleged that the reality dating shows were discriminating against people of color by casting only whites.
Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, both African-American men who claim they were quickly ushered out of a Bachelor casting call in Nashville, filed against ABC and Warner Horizon Television (which produces the shows) this summer. The men used their experience and the overall lack of color among Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants as evidence of a corporate policy against casting minorities.
The court threw out the suit, agreeing with ABC/Warner Horizon that casting decisions are “part and parcel of the creative process behind a television program – including the shows at issue here,” and are therefore protected by the First Amendment.
“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,” the court’s memorandum reads.
Warner Horizons issued a statement regarding the dismissal: “We felt from the onset that this case was completely without merit, and we are pleased the Court has found in our favor,”
Do you agree with the court’s decision to dismiss the case? Has the suit changed the way you think about reality show casting? Sound off in the comments!
- Warner Horizon Television