Citing 'Jersey Shore,' Court Throws Out Race Discrimination Case Against 'The Bachelor'
As I've previously discussed here on LBW (and here), a class action race discrimination lawsuit was filed this year complaining that neither the television show "The Bachelor" nor its sidekick show, "The Bachelorette," has ever "featured a single person of color" as the lead Bachelor or Bachelorette. The defendants in the case included, among others, ABC, the show's production companies and the show's executive producer.
Alas, earlier this month, the case "did not receive a rose" as they might say on the show, and was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger. In her opinion, Trauger noted that the issue of whether the First Amendment protected casting decisions appeared to be a matter of first impression. She found, however, that the casting decisions in question were "part and parcel of the creative process behind a television program -- including the Shows at issue here -- thereby meriting First Amendment protection against the application of anti-discrimination statutes to that process."
Trauger referred to the defendants' "convincing" argument that if the First Amendment was interpreted otherwise, any network targeting particular demographic groups such as the Lifetime Network (females), the Black Entertainment Channel (African-Americans), Telemundo (Latinos), and others would be called into question. Similarly, she stated,
the content of any television show that does not have a sufficiently diverse cast would be or would have been subject to court scrutiny, such as The Jersey Shore (all white cast members), The Shahs of Beverly Hills (a show about Persian-Americans living in Los Angeles), The Cosby Show (a show with an African-American cast), and The Steve Harvey Show (a show with an African-American lead actor and supporting cast).
Posted by Bruce Carton on October 31, 2012 at 03:42 PM | Permalink
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