Judge dismisses 'Bachelor' discrimination case
NASHVILLE, TN -- A federal judge on Monday dismissed a case filed by two black men who claimed ABC's "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" discriminated against casting participants of color.
U.S. District Court Judge Aleta Trauger's ruling states that casting decisions by the network and the series' producers are protected by the First Amendment and the case should not continue.
Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson sued the network in April, claiming their bids to appear on "The Bachelor" were never given serious consideration. They claimed the show and its spinoff "The Bachelorette" discriminated against nonwhite participants.
Trauger's ruling calls the plaintiffs' efforts "laudable" but says the lawsuit is aimed at regulating the show's content, which is forbidden under the First Amendment.
"Ultimately, whatever messages `The Bachelor' and `The Bachelorette' communicate or are intended to communicate -- whether explicitly, implicitly, intentionally, or otherwise -- the First Amendment protects the right of the producers of these shows to craft and control those messages, based on whatever considerations the producers wish to take into account," Trauger wrote.
ABC lauded the ruling, saying, "We felt from the onset this case was completely without merit and we are pleased the Court has found in our favor."
An email sent to attorney Byron Perkins, who represented Claybrooks and Johnson, was not immediately returned.
At the time of the lawsuit's filing, all of the men given star billing in the first 16 seasons of "The Bachelor" were white. Through seven seasons of "The Bachelorette," two male Hispanic contestants were selected winners and the rest were white.
- Severe weather clears, leaves damage behind 41 min ago
- Houston mayor weighs in on 'Duck Dynasty' feud 30 min ago
- NASA astronauts complete first spacewalk 17 min ago
- Mom devastated by tragedy pushes for change
- Hospital: Teen shot at Colorado school dies 22 min ago
- New Houston light rail line opens for business
- 1 dead, 1 injured in drive-by double shooting
- Man barricades himself in house after allegedly killing wife
- 4 arrested on murder charges in NJ mall carjacking
- Ice pellets and snow frustrate holiday travel rush
- Three Harris County deaths related to H1N1
- Elf on the Shelf stress hits some parents hard
- Boy, 4, saves family from overnight fire
- Photos: What do you do if you shopped at Target?