"The Bachelor" Really Is Kinda Racist
Think about it: how many non-white people do you remember being on the series, ever? Exactly.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that a class-action lawsuit will be filed against ABC and "The Bachelor" due to its staggering lack of color throughout the show's 23 seasons:
A group of Nashville residents led by football players Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson said Tuesday they will file a class-action lawsuit against the ABC dating competition series The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for racial discrimination. The potential plaintiffs point out that over 10 years of the show and 23 seasons, the programs have not featured a single person of color as the featured Bachelor or Bachelorette.
The lawsuit got me to thinking...
Yet the problem lies not only with the selected men to star on "The Bachelor," but also in the contestants. The following cast photos depict the contestants as a largely white group, with a smattering of color here and there (that has seemed to disappear over the show's tenture):
The Bachelor, Season 1
The Bachelor, Season 2
The Bachelor, Season 3
The Bachelor, Season 4
The Bachelor, Season 6
The Bachelor, Season 9
The Bachelor, Season 10
The Bachelor, Season 11
The Bachelor, Season 12
The Bachelor, Season 13
The Bachelor, Season 14
The Bachelor, Season 15
The Bachelor, Season 16
...But that's not all! The problem is consistent among the casting of the show's female counterpart, "The Bachelorette," as well as their wacky hook-up show (consisting of rejects from all seasons) "Bachelor Pad".
The Bachelorette, Season 1
The Bachelorette, Season 2
The Bachelorette, Season 3
The Bachelorette, Season 4
The Bachelorette, Season 5
The Bachelorette, Season 6
Bachelor Pad, Season 1
Bachelor Pad, Season 2
DIVERSITY COUNT TOTAL: 14 out of HUNDREDS of contestants. (This isn't even taking into account those who applied and went through the interview process.)
THR also notes that "Bachelor" producer Mike Fleiss said the following when asked if the show would ever consider a Bachelor or Bachelorette of color:
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.
Really? Not enough people of color are applying? I don't know if that's true. I mean, a quick search on YouTube led me to this attractive gentleman's campaign to become the next Bachelor:
So if people like Lamar Hurd pop up upon a simple google search, maybe the people at ABC simply aren't looking hard enough for contestants of color. Now that a nationally-publicized class action lawsuit is being brought upon the show, we can only hope that the casting directors will start trying harder. Well, or that ABC cancels the show completely in lieu of a Bachelor-style dating show starring slow lorises, sloths, cats, and corgis. How cute would that be?