Bachelor defends its casting after lawsuit filed; judge last year’s 70 contestants for yourself

Two men who applied to be The Bachelor sued the show, its producers, and network for racial discrimination today. Nashville’s ABC affiliate WKRN has details; that includes a statement from Warner Horizon Television, which produces the series:

“This complaint is baseless and without merit. In fact, we have had various participants of color throughout the series’ history, and the producers 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.'”

And as always, your producers continue to not cast them. EW absurdly and comically claims “the shows had included a diverse array of contestants vying for The Bachelor/Bachelorette’s attention.” Not a chance.

Here’s a fun little activity: Scroll through the faces of the women who were cast to pursue Ben Flajnik. Then go scroll through the faces of the men who were chosen for Ashley Hebert. Then go scroll through the returning cast members’ faces from Bachelor Pad last summer.

Anything look remarkable? There are 70 people total, including the stars and including repeats. And boy, do they look similar.

Obviously, a cursory glance of someone’s face might not reveal true ethnicity or race, and there may be one or two non-white people in that group. But what’s utterly clear is that the show has one type of person that it casts again and again and again. Ignoring at least a quarter of the population of the country doesn’t just happen by accident.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.