Posted Apr 19, 2012 01:42 pm CDT
Two black men who were unable to land roles on The Bachelor have filed a suit claiming the reality show discriminates against people of color.
Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson say in their federal lawsuit that they were given little consideration during a casting call in August, report the Associated Press and Entertainment Weekly. Producers gave more time to whites who showed up to apply, the suit claims.
Claybrooks owns a barber shop and auto detailing business in Nashville, the complaint says. He was a star football player at Middle Tennessee State University and later played for a semi-pro team. Christopher Johnson, a teacher, was a star football player at Tennessee State and is preparing to try out for the NFL as a wide receiver.
The Hollywood Reporter blog Hollywood, Esq. has a copy of the complaint. The lawsuit claims that white applicants are featured because of a calculation that “minorities in lead roles and interracial dating is unappealing to the shows’ audience.”
Warner Horizon Television says the suit is without merit, Entertainment Weekly reports. The statement by the production company says the show has had various participants of color. The suit, however, focuses on casting for the starring role.