A class-action lawsuit filed by two Nashville men who alleged that ABC's "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" dating shows intentionally excluded people of color has been dismissed.
Lawyers for Nathaniel Claybrooks, described as an "All-American football player" and Christopher Johnson, described as "an aspiring National Football League player," had claimed in U.S. District Court that both shows over the last 10 years and 23 combined seasons had never featured a person of color in the central role.
But the defendants, including ABC and Warner Horizon Televison, which produces the franchise, defended the casting on First Amendment grounds. Judge Aleta A. Trauger agreed, saying that the plaintiffs "seek to drive an artificial wedge between casting decisions and the end product, which itself is indisputably protected as speech by the First Amendment."
A spokesman for Warner Horizon said in a statement, "“We felt from the onset this case was completely without merit and we are pleased the Court has found in our favor.”