Bachelor claims free speech to defend itself against racial discrimination lawsuit

Producers of The Bachelor suggest in legal filings that they will defend themselves against a racial discrimination lawsuit by claiming they have the right to free speech. Specifically, it says, “that television casting decisions are protected by the First Amendment.”

That’s a pretty incredible argument, essentially saying that they have the right to pick nearly all white people because their product is speech (such as art), not employment (a business).

The Hollywood Reporter reports that the two parties have asked the court to decide whether the case will be heard in Tennessee or California, and in those filings, ABC and “the producers also revealed the grounds by which they will seek dismissal,” and “give two examples of case law to support their argument,” one of which “determined that parade organizers weren’t compelled to include the participation of viewpoints they disagreed with” and another “that held that a radio broadcaster had the free speech right to exclude a would-be call-in participant who was deemed too old.”

Warner Horizon Television previously defended itself to the media by claiming they “have had” and “seek out” non-white cast members, which made me laugh because the show is whiter than White Out spilled on a white sheet that’s just been bleached.

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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.