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'The Bachelor' producers deny racial discrimination

April 19, 2012 |  2:04 pm

Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Clybrooks

Warner Horizon Television, the studio behind ABC's "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," has denied the claims of two African American  men who filed a class-action suit Wednesday saying that the dating shows discriminate against people of color.

"This complaint is baseless and without merit," said the statement. "In fact, we have had various participants of color throughout the series' history, and the producers have been consistently -- and publicly -- vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both shows. As always, we continue to seek out participants of color for both "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette."

In their lawsuit, Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, both from Nashville, say there were not given the same consideration as white candidates when they tried out to be contestants on the show. They said the two shows, over the course of 20 years and a combined 23 seasons, have never featured a person of color in the central role of "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette."


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Photo: Christopher Johnson, left, and Nathaniel Clybrooks have filed a class-action suit against "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" charging them with racial discrimination. Credit: Mark Humprey/Associated Press