"Ultimately, the judge disagreed and decided that in general, casting is protected by the First Amendment, and that means that even if the plaintiffs were right that the show was in fact outright refusing to cast people of color… its right to do that would be protected from interference.
The judge is just saying that even if these guys are entirely right that they’re being excluded based on race, they can’t win. What ABC successfully argued in this case (which could be appealed, by the way) is that it has a First Amendment right to exclude people of color as a creative decision in the process of casting shows. The judge isn’t saying it happened and ABC isn’t admitting it happened, but the judge is agreeing with ABC that even if it happened, it’s not illegal, and that’s why the case was dismissed.
Over the course of 23 seasons, not one time has the show’s eclectic mix ever included a Bachelor or Bachelorette who is a person of color. Each of the 23 people who have filled the role of the Bachelor and Bachelorette-despite their apparent professional diversity-have all been white.
…Not only has every Bachelor and Bachelorette in the shows’ 23-season history been white, but nearly all of the ‘suitors’ are white as well. Females of color are few and far between on The Bachelor and, to the extent the show ever does contain non-white female contestants, they tend to be eliminated early on in the show. The same is true of males of color on The Bachelorette. The result is an almost all or entirely all white group of contestants featured on the shows every week that they air.
The shows’ complete lack of people of color is no accident. As illustrated below, and upon information and belief, numerous people of color have applied to be the Bachelor or Bachelorette. These applicants were denied the same opportunity to become the next Bachelor or Bachelorette as white contestants not because they were unsuitable for the role or could not contribute to the show’s ‘eclectic mix,’ but solely because of the perceived risk that casting a Bachelor or Bachelorette who is a person of color would alienate the show’s majority-white viewership. Intentional discrimination, even if based on perceptions of customer bias, is prohibited by … the California Civil Code.
Will we ever see a bachelor or a bachelorette who is not white?
I think Ashley is 1/16th Cherokee Indian, but I cannot confirm. But that is my suspicion! We really tried, but sometimes we feel guilty of tokenism. Oh, we have to wedge African-American chicks in there! We always want to cast for ethnic diversity, it’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward. I wish they would.
Mike Fleiss explains to a reporter why after 23 seasaons there has never been a person of color as the bachelor or bachelorette. Fleiss is the creator of the ABC reality show "The Bachelor."
Last week, two African American men who auditioned for the show filed a lawsuit arguing that they and other people of color have been discriminated against in the casting process. This kind of lawsuit is very unprecedented; as far as I am aware no one has ever won a discrimination lawsuit against Hollywood before.