Yesterday, two football players from Tennessee, Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, announced that they plan to sue ABC and the producers of The Bachelor for racial discrimination. You see, in 23 seasons there has never been a Bachelor or Bachelorette of color, and Claybrooks and Johnson, who presumably auditioned for the show at some point, are claiming that that's deliberate.
Entertainment Weekly has a good rundown of the legalese of the matter, basically explaining that the suit (which has not yet been filed) might have some standing in California based on various anti-discrimination laws, but that any determination will largely depend on behind-the-scenes emails, memos, etc. between staff at ABC and the various production companies that make the show. Obviously if there are explicit references to deliberately not casting non-white Bachelors or Bachelorettes then there might be a problem, legally speaking. And in a bigger, general way, it's unfortunate that so far the casts of those shows have been so conspicuously homogenous and if that's expressly on purpose that's very bad. But other than that, um, really guys?
Like, is that where we are right now, suing reality shows because they won't cast us? Sue a job that doesn't hire you because you're black, that's a real offense for sure. But a reality show isn't a job exactly, is it? Specifically, The Bachelor is not a job. Being The Bachelor is not employment from which one can be unfairly discriminated. Yes, you receive money and it may lead to future employment as, say, a cast member on Bachelor Pad, but it is not a livelihood that should be legally fair and inclusive. If ABC et .al. are deliberately not casting a black Bachelor or a Latina Bachelorette in favor of the blond(e) zombies they've had on so far, then that is bad and they are jerks. But sued? By two random people? For discrimination? That makes no sense!