Friday, October 19, 2012

ABC's The Bachelor: In Color but not of Color?

The Bachelor (US TV series)
The Bachelor  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In a 23-page Memorandum of Decision, United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee Judge Aleta Trauger this week ruled that alleged racially discriminatory casting decisions by ABC for its reality programs The Bachelor and The Bacheorette are protected by the First Amendment.

In the class action suit, Nathaniel Claybrooks & Christopher Johnson v. ABC, Inc. et al. (Case No. 3:12-cv-00388), the plaintiffs claimed that the failure to feature non-white, looking-for-love contestants violated the Civil Rights Act of 1866 [14 Stat. 27] and other non-discrimination legislation. According to reports by the THR, Esq. Web site and the Associated Press, Judge Trauger held that the First Amendment shields the programs' producers and the network's casting decisions from claims that would regulate content.

"[C]asting and the resulting work of entertainment are inseparable and both must be protected to ensure that the producers' freedom of speech is not abridged," Judge Trauger wrote. No word on whether the decision will be appealed.
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