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'The Bachelor' Freed From Racial Bias Lawsuit

October 17, 2012 (6:37 pm) GMT
A judge ruled that the producers of the dating reality show are protected by the First Amendment in the casting process.

A judge found there is no racial discrimination case on ABC's reality show "The Bachelor". On Monday, October 15, U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger dismissed a class action lawsuit filed by Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson who claimed the show would not take African American contestants.

Johnson and Claybrooks said they went for a casting call for the dating show in 2011 but they were treated differently than people of non-color. Some African American were selected to compete but eventually were eliminated early.

Trauger said the casting decisions by the network and series' producers are protected by the First Amendment. "The First Amendment prevents the plaintiffs from effectuating these goals by forcing the defendants to employ race-neutral criteria in their casting decisions in order to 'showcase' a more progressive message," she said.

Warner Horizon Television which is named as defendant said in a statement, "We felt from the outset this case was completely without merit and we are pleased the court has found in our favor." They previously insisted that they "have been consistently -- and publicly -- vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both programs. As always, we continue to seek out participants of color for both 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette'."

An attorney representing Claybrooks and Johnson has not commented on the judge ruling.

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