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Bachelor discrimination case dismissed

2012-10-16 08:37
Nashville, Tennessee - A federal judge on Monday dismissed a case filed by two black men who claimed ABC's reality dating shows, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, discriminated against casting participants of colour.

US District Court Judge Aleta Trauger's ruling states that casting decisions by the TV network and the series' producers are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech and the case should not continue.

Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson sued ABC in April, claiming their bids to appear on The Bachelor were never given serious consideration. They claimed the show and its spinoff The Bachelorette discriminated against non-white participants.

Trauger's ruling calls the plaintiffs' efforts "laudable" but says the lawsuit is aimed at regulating the show's content, which is forbidden under the First Amendment.

Rights protected

"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," Trauger wrote.

ABC lauded the ruling, saying: "We felt from the onset this case was completely without merit and we are pleased the Court has found in our favour."

An email sent to attorney Byron Perkins, who represented Claybrooks and Johnson, was not immediately returned.

At the time of the lawsuit's filing, all of the men given star billing in the first 16 seasons of The Bachelor were white. Through seven seasons of The Bachelorette, two male Hispanic contestants were selected winners and the rest were white.

Read more on:    abc  |  the bachelor  |  lawsuits  |  tv
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