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Discrimination lawsuit leveled against ‘Bachelor’

Two black men are taking “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” to court with a lawsuit that claims the reality shows are blocking minority contestants from starring roles.

Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson filed a federal lawsuit in Nashville on Wednesday against the popular TV shows, claiming they are engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination. The Nashville men said at a casting call in August that they were given scant consideration compared with white men seeking a leading role for “The Bachelor.”

Their attorneys said it is the first racial discrimination lawsuit filed against a reality show. It does not ask for a specific dollar amount of damages, but it does propose to make major changes in how people are seen on TV.

The two men say that after 10 years and a combined total of 23 seasons of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” neither show has featured a single person of color in a central role. The reality show features about 25 prospective brides competing for the heart of a single guy. The gender roles reverse in its sister show, “The Bachelorette.”

Both shows have come under fire in recent years for not having enough diversity.

The lawsuit names Michael Fleiss, the creator of the shows, as well as ABC, Warner Horizon Television, Next Entertainment and NZK Productions. Warner Horizon Television released a statement late Wednesday evening saying the complaint is baseless.

Compiled from Web and wire reports