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April 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Nathaniel Claybrooks

ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are the likely target of a class-action lawsuit by two Nashville men who maintain that the two shows intentionally discriminate against people of color. Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson claim that over 23 combined seasons, neither of the dating shows has ever featured a person of color in the lead role. The two said Tuesday that they plan to file complaints today (Wednesday) against the ABC television network, executive producer Mike Fleiss, and Warner Horizon Television, Inc. In the past, Fleiss has responded to similar complaints by maintaining that the only reason no one of color has been cast in the featured role of either series was that no one of color had applied. (But Claybrooks and Johnson are expected to tell a scheduled news conference today that they had done so and were snubbed.) Fleiss’s response was lambasted by producer Shawn Ryan, creator of such TV shows as The Shield and The Unit. “They blame minorites [sic] for ‘not coming forward’. What a joke,” Ryan commented last year on Twitter. He called Fleiss’s remarks “straight up racism. They just don’t think America will watch black bachelor [sic] or root for mixed-race marriage.”