For fans of "The Bachelor" and its spinoff, "The Bachelorette," who have wondered why the veteran ABC dating franchise has never spotlighted a nonwhite contestant in the title role in any of their combined 21 seasons, the shows' creator has come up with at least a partial answer: People of color apparently don't want to be on the show.
"We always want to cast for ethnic diversity," Mike Fleiss said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, adding, "It's just that for whatever reason, they don't come forward. I wish they would."
But one of television's top producers had another word for the absence of minorities on "The Bachelor": racism.
"[T]hey blame minorites [sic] for 'not coming forward'. What a joke," Shawn Ryan, creator of "The Shield" and Fox's "The Chicago Code," wrote on Twitter, discussing Fleiss' comments. Ryan, whose dramas have included leading and prominent minority characters, maintained the absence was indicative of "[s]traight up racism. They just don't think America will watch black bachelor [sic] or root for mixed-race marriage."
Fleiss, who is about to start production on the seventh edition of "The Bachelorette," which is scheduled to premiere May 23, did not make himself available for comment. Ryan also declined to elaborate.