By Darlene R.
For many years, a lot of women and men have tuned in to watch ABC’s the Bachelor and spin off, bachelorette. When I was younger I’d watch commercials that promoted the show and its premise, which was about finding true love on reality TV. I had never really taken the time to notice that it was never ethnically diverse. However, it was recently in the media is that this show has never casted African American, or Hispanic men and women contenders. Season after season, we’ve seen the typical all American white man who wants to find “true love ” on TV. The contenders consist of women aged 21-35 and they are never women of color, but just simply all white American women. At times you will see the occasional ¼ Native American or eastern European, but its always predominantly lighter skin toned people. I guess this has been overlooked for so long because we are used to viewing it in this typical structure. When picking from these twenty or so females and going on dates with them, the bachelor/bachelorette ultimately falls in love and chooses “the one.”
Secondly, even though the audition or casting for this show is supposed to be diverse and not discriminatory, it is obvious that the final twenty women who are chosen to move on to the next date with the bachelor are all Caucasian women. Recently we’ve seen some African American women among the others who are in the pool of 30 women, but when it comes down to the final twenty, twelve, and five, they have already been eliminated way before that. Why is that? According to an online source “neither “The Bachelor,” which has been on for 16 seasons, nor ‘The Bachelorette, which is about to begin its eighth, has ever featured a person of color in the title position. Additionally, the contestants who vie for the bachelor and bachelorette’s affections, 25 lovelorn souls each season, have also been disproportionately white.” (Paskin) This statement supports my opinion of the critically acclaimed show and how its diversity has been questioned in its latest season.
Consequently, this show has been on seasons that span over ten years and has failed to portray any diverse races in its leading bachelor position. The media has spoken out about this controversial lawsuit and as a minority, I feel that reality TV needs diversity. Since we are talking about “reality” TV, then everyone deserves a chance at love, not just white men and women because that’s not reality. In real life, people fall in love with other people regardless of race, orientation or gender. If this show wants to continue its success, it should allow everyone the opportunity to participate in this search for love. According to the Associated Press, “Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson sued the network in April, claiming the show and its spin off "The Bachelorette" discriminated against nonwhite participants” (Associate Press 2). However, this lawsuit was dropped and we are still watching a newer season of the bachelor with the same all white American male as the lead and a bunch of white females as the contenders. The show’s executive producer, Mike Fleiss, commented to The Hollywood Reporter when asked if we will ever see a bachelor/bachelorette who is not white, and his response was “I think Ashley is 1/16th Cherokee Indian, but I cannot confirm. But that is my suspicion! We really tried, but sometimes we feel guilty of tokenism. Oh, we have to wedge African-American chicks in there! We always want to cast for ethnic diversity.” In my opinion, surely they mixed it up by having casted a young lady who was 1/16th Cherokee Indian, but if that’s as diverse as they get, then we are still living in a world that discriminates against non-white people in shows. Simply put, this is just one of many shows out there that allows this kind of prejudice and discrimination to continue.
Ostroy, Andy. "Is ABC's The Bachelor/Bachelorette Racist?" The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 05 Jan. 2010. Web. 09 June 2013.
Paskin, Willa. "SALON." Saloncom RSS. N.p., 17 Apr. 2012. Web. 07 Apr. 2013. "ABC's 'The Bachelor' Racist Lawsuit Claim Dismissed, Report Says." Fox News Latino. Associated Press, 16 Oct. 2012. Web. 07 Apr. 2013.
HAGGERTY, DEIRDRE. "Racism and Sean Lowe's Intentions Called into Question during 'The Bachelor'" Examiner.com. Clarity Digital Group LLC, 15 Jan. 2013. Web. 08 June 2013.
Straczynski, Stacy. "Is 'The Bachelor' Racist? ABC Sued for Discrimination." DiversityInc. Diversity Incorporated, 22 Apr. 2012. Web. 09 June 2013. <http://www.diversityinc.com/diversity-and-inclusion/is-the-bachelor-racist-abc-sued-for-discrimination/>.