Bachelor discrimination lawsuit 2012: Nina Parker remembers casting accusations as Matt James takes top spot

Matt James
Matt James is the first person of color to take the male lead on The Bachelor. Pic credit: ABC

Matt James has been named the next Bachelor to lead the franchise in 2021.

The news was made public after the franchise faced criticism from many who felt it was time for ABC to pick a person of color to lead the show.

This hadn’t happened for years, as Rachel Lindsay is the only person of color ever picked as lead on Season 13 of The Bachelorette.

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For years, people of color had been cast as contestants, but ABC has never cast a black male as the lead, despite having a big opportunity last year in Mike Johnson.

Even though ABC is now being praised as being on the right side of history, the show was sued back in 2012 for this exact reason.

Bachelor discrimination lawsuit brought up again after Matt James becomes the next Bachelor

Nina Parker, the person behind the @MzGossipGirl Instagram account and one of the Nightly Pop hosts on E!, recalled the Bachelor discrimination lawsuit on Instagram recently.

As people celebrated Matt James being named the next Bachelor, Nina reminded people that they are celebrating the franchise that argued they had a First Amendment right to exclude people of color if they wanted to.

Nina Parker
Nina Parker recalls the lawsuit regarding The Bachelor. Pic credit: @MzGossipGirl/Instagram

The lawsuit in question was brought on by Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks, two men who had previously auditioned for The Bachelor.

They argued that the show discriminated against people of color in choosing the lead for the seasons and also the contestants for the show.

While ABC claimed that no such discrimination has ever taken place, the network also claimed that they had a right to pick and choose the people they wanted to cast.

The Bachelor discrimination lawsuit was dismissed

Back in 2012, NPR reported that ABC argued “even if there were, their right to cast only white people if they want to is protected by the First Amendment because of the expressive, creative nature of The Bachelor.”

Ultimately, the lawsuit was thrown out, not because they weren’t discriminating but because even if they did, it would not be illegal in that case.

The case was dismissed in late 2012 when a judge disagreed with the lawsuit. The judge decided that casting is indeed protected by the First Amendment and that means that even if the show was discriminating by only casting white people, they had the right to do so.

Matt James announced as next star of  The Bachelor

Matt was suddenly announced as the next Bachelor star in mind-June after the franchise faced criticism for never having a person of color as the lead.

Matt had previously been selected as a contestant on the upcoming season of The Bachelorette for Clare Crawley’s season but she called out people for using Cameo and the platform to gain attention before the show began.

The franchise continues to be celebrated because of their decision to name Matt as the next Bachelor.

The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.

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