Friday, April 27, 2012

The Bachelor is Racist!...Yeah, We Noticed.

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

Have you heard that ABC/the producers of the shows, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are being sued for racial discrimination? The plaintiffs, two African-American men, claim that because the shows have never featured African-American bachelors or bachelorettes in their entire 23-season run, they are discriminating against people of color. If you ask me, they have a slam dunk case. We'll see what the producers can come up with for a defense. But quite frankly, I have never watched the show because based on the premise alone -- a man gets his freak on with 20 plus women in a short period of time, in front of a million viewers and then tries to pick the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with --sounds like the stupidest and most degrading idea I've ever heard. In fact, rather than calling it, "The Bachelor," I think the show should be called The Pimp.

If someone was going to sue a network for not featuring people of color in their regular cast, I have some better suggestions on where to fight this fight. Here's a list of shows I'd like to see with more diversity in the mix.

1. Saturday Night Live. Could we please get a Black woman in the regular cast so the two Black male cast members can stop dressing in drag? And while we're at it, a Latina, Asian and/or any other woman of color would be really appreciated. Why is it that only White girls get to be funny?

2. Law & Order. I am a loyal fan, but wouldn't it be great to get a Black/Hispanic/Asian female cop on the beat? And keeping Tamara Tunie, who played the medical examiner on the show, with the dead people in the morgue, is probably the reason she quit.

3. Modern Family. Okay, so Modern Family is supposed to be so great because not only is it funny, but they have a diverse cast. Let's check that diversity. They have two gay white men, with an adopted Asian daughter. They have a Colombian mother and her son. I'm not saying this isn't progress, but nobody in the cast is really pushing any racial boundaries. I'd love to see a Black family somehow become part of the show. A neighbor, a love interest for one of the kids?  Someone's boss. There are endless possibilities.

Okay, what do you guys think? Where would you put more color in prime time? And I haven't even touched the cable shows because I don't have cable. So, let me know about those shows too. I'm so listening. By the way, I'd also like to hear if you think that diversity in prime time is irrelevant in the greater scheme of things we need to be worrying about.


P.S. The winner of Julia Alvarez's new book, A Wedding in Haiti is The Golden Papaya! Hey GP, send us your mailing info to and we'll send you your book. Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments.


dramaqueen said...

This was an interesting post but I feel that you may be grasping at straws in singling out specific shows for lack of diversity.

I get that this post stems from the Bachelor lawsuit but fundamentally shouldn't diversity in a pluralist society be more than a B/W thing? It's surprising (to me) that you singled out Modern Family for lack of diversity. With that said, the lawsuit is innovative and it's healthy to discuss race and tv.

In any event, let's appreciate the mainstream shows featuring black actresses right now such as Bones, Castle, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Community, Scandal, Parks and Recs ...

And, it's great that there are Indian -, Korean- , Chilean-, gay -, senior- a lot of hyphen Americans on TV right now. Let's also celebrate this and support those shows.

LT said...

I agree that there are a lot of great shows with diverse casts on right now. I am a HUGE fan of anything Shonda Rhimes does. My point with this post was that if anyone was going to waste their time and money suing a TV show for racist casting, couldn't it be a better show than The Bachelor? A show where, if the the plantiffs won, and if the producers were forced to diversify their casts, some real progress would be made. Instead, if it's found that indeed The Bachelor producers were discriminating in their choices of bachelors, the result will be that we get to watch Black men and women get to degrade themselves in front of millions of viewers. No thanks.

And please note, I have no hopes that anything is really going to change because of this lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

@LT-The most current reality show with a diverse cast is American Ninja Warrior on NBC even though it is male dominated. The people there are White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Native, mixed, etc. Those White people on The Bachelor/Bachelorette shows look so old for their age, especially those that are from the United States and Canada. The only issue with diversifying those shows is on The Bachelor, female contestants may have parents who will disapprove of the guy because of his race and that they might be set up with another guy of their race. On The Bachelorette, male contestants will be hurling racist remarks at each other and get into physical fights as well. These shows tend to discourage interracial dating and marriage and instead promote strict monoracial dating and marriage, which can be destructive.