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'The Bachelor' lawsuit brings attention to race

April 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
"The Bachelor" is being sued by two black men in Nashville, Tenn. who say they were given little consideration when they tried to get on the show.

Through 16 seasons, all of the men given star billing to search for a mate were white. This has also been the case with the women in the seven seasons of ABC's "The Bachelorette." Two Hispanic contestants have been selected winners; the rest were all white.

This has also been the case with the pool of would-be mates, with no black women vying for the bachelor's hand during the past four seasons, and only one in season 12. That's one black woman out of 130, according to a review of the casts posted online.

One of the Nashville men who sued, 26-year-old teacher Christopher Johnson, said he was stopped immediately when he went to a casting call for "The Bachelor" and asked what he was doing there. He said he was told to hand in materials, and never got a call-back or tryout.

Warner Horizon Television, which produces the series, called the complaint "baseless and without merit." The company said producers "have been consistently - and publicly - vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both programs."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.