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Bachelor lawsuit

Oh Chris Harrison…I have no doubt that you are the most moral, most ethical, most handsome host of any reality debacle, and, as such, any lawsuit against anything with which you may be remotely involved, needs to be escorted to a limo and ugly cry all the way back to the airport.

As you all have heard, there is a suit pending against the most dramatic show ever for never hiring minority applicants.  Looking back over past seasons, they may actually be on to something!  However, Bachelor producers are no longer staying mum about the accusations according to wetpaint.com.

Warner Horizon, the parent company of the modern day fame whore love connection, released a statement citing, “This complaint is baseless and without merit.  We have had various participants of color throughout the series’ history, and the producers have been consistently — and publicly — vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both programs.”  The statement goes on to say that producers will “continue to seek out participants of color” for the franchise.

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Yesterday a class action lawsuit was filed against ABC and The Bachelor by Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, two Africa-American men who claim they were discriminated against at a recent Bachelor casting event. A photo of the two men is above.

“This is a case about equal opportunity,” said Cyrus Mehri, who is one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs. “It’s about putting everyone on equal footing. We’re not saying that these two men should definitely have been selected. This is saying that they should have been given the same level of consideration as white applicants.” According to the LA Times, both men say, upon their arrival at a 2011 casting call they were treated with disrespect and largely ignored while white counterparts were treated completely differently.

Nathaniel Claybrooks, a small business owner, alleges his on-camera interview was much shorter than the ones given to white applicants and he was not given the same opportunities. Christopher Johnson says after handing in his application, he was unable to proceed past the lobby into the main interview room while white applicants were ushered right through by casting officials.

Both men claim rejection has nothing to do with their suit, but an effort to change the process and bring awareness to blatant discrimination. It’s worth adding that in fifteen seasons of The Bachelor, there has never been a bachelor of a different ethnic background. Nor has there been a Bachelorette of a different ethnicity. Now I’m not saying that’s intentional on the show’s part, but it is worth investigating. Show creator Mike Fleiss joked about this in an interview, saying former Bachelorette Ashely Hebert may have been 1/16th Cherokee.

The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages. “But basically, this is about the need for reform,” their lawyer explains. ABC declined to comment on the recent suit.

Discussing the suit are two former Bachelor contestants. “It is clearly not right that after 10 years of successive seasons there hasn’t been a black Bachelor or Bachelorette, especially when we have a black president,” Matt Grant, star of The Bachelor, Season 12 told RadarOnline.

“As one of the longest running reality shows on TV, The Bachelor is a national brand, a part of American pop culture and part of the make-up of the country,” Matt continued “It should definitely be more racially diverse because it is not reflecting the demographic of the nation right now.” Matt adds that during his season, London Calling, there was only one African-American woman competing to be his wife – and he claims he brought up the lack of diversity with producers!

“While I don’t think any of the producers are inherently racist,” he added, “I just think that mistakes are being made.” Matt believes the contestants are merely chosen to reflect the primary viewership. “The real reason for it I think is because most of the viewers are from the middle of the country and are predominantly white. Which leads to the moral question, ‘Should The Bachelor cast reflect the viewing demographic or the real national demographic?’” This Matt is pretty smart isn’t he? He needed television to find a wife?

“If you have more black people involved in the show then maybe more black people would watch,” said Matt added.

Also speaking out, is former Bachelor and Bachelor Pad nut contestant, Elizabeth Kitt. “The cast was predominantly white,” she tells RadarOnline. “I didn’t hear any racist slurs during filming so to say the show is racist is going too far, if you throw that out there too many times it is the boy who cried wolf.”

Elizabeth seems to think the lawsuit is baseless and believes it’s simply a case of more white people applying to be on the show, a sentiment Mike Fleiss has also echoed. “I’m a little annoyed by the lawsuit, if you want to be on the show – then apply!”

[Photo Credit: LA Times]

DO THE PLAINTIFFS HAVE A POINT? IS THE BACHELOR INTENTIONALLY CASTING WHITE CONTESTANTS OR IS IT MERELY A COINCIDENCE? DOES THE BACHELOR NEED TO DIVERSIFY?

According to a report, past Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants have had it with the show’s super strict rules and are not taking it any more!

The coalition or planned class action lawsuit rather is being led by Jesse Csincsak, winner of the Bachelorette season 4 with Deanna Pappas.

In an interview with CupidsPulse.com, Jesse reveals he and other show contestants have spoken to attorneys and are in discussion to file the lawsuit against the show’s creators Mike Fleiss and Elan Gale.

“Once you’re on the show, they own you,” Jesse said. ”Even when your contract is up, they still interfere in your life and prevent you from promoting other brands and making money.”

Jesse, who does a lot of interviews/blogs posts about the shows and even hosts Bachelor(ette) events, reveals the last straw for him came when Gale contacted his business partners and other companies telling them not to work with him. Jesse adds that the producers have also contacted former other show contestants threatening to blacklist them if they participate in any of his events.

Jesse, who is now married to former Bachelor contestant Ann Lueders, explains how the planned class action lawsuit came about. “I had planned to file my own lawsuit last month but after discussions with numerous people and former Bachelor contestants, we realized that this issue is much bigger than me,” he said.

And in a separate interview with Star magazine earlier this month, the former pro skateboarder referred to Fleiss as a bully. “He thinks he owns me and can keep me from making money. I just want to feed my family,” said Jesse, adding: “I want Fleiss to treat me like he wants to be treated… if he wants me to leave him alone, he needs to leave me alone.”

Yikes, this is certain to get ugly. It, however, appears Jesse and others have a real shot at winning this case as back in 2003, the show’s producers sued former Bachelor Season 4 star, Bob Guiney, accusing him of violating his contract by promoting his cd and music video. Bob ended up winning that case.

It was also reported last month that the show filed a lawsuit against Steve Carbone, who operates the site RealitySteve.com, known for revealing pretty accurate spoilers about the show. The lawsuit alleged Steve was offering contestants financial incentives to break their show contracts.

[Photo Credit: Judy Eddy/WENN.com]

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THIS PLANNED CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT? SHOULD THE CONTESTANTS BE ALLOWED TO MAKE A LIVING OFF THE SHOW AFTER THEIR SEASONS END?


Bloggers beware! In today’s surprising news the producers of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are suing the popular blogger realitysteve.com for soliciting information to be used for leaking spoilers about their hit shows!

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in California Federal Court NZK Productions and Alternative Television, Inc — the producers of the shows — are claiming the defendant, blogger Steve Carbone (a.k.a. realitysteve) is ” attempting to have contestants breach their confidentiality pledges.” The website has leaked such high-profile information as the location of the shows, the final three, the winners, even going so far as to disclose the participants before ABC officially releases the cast list. In exchange for realitysteve contacting participants for classified gossip they want at least $75,000 in damages.

Participants in the ABC shows are required to sign contracts barring them from divulging “non-public” information about the shows. Realitysteve is accused of learning “confidential information” about the series by “contacting and soliciting information from participants, cast, crew, and other employees of the series.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, show employees are told that they will face high penalties upwards of a million dollars for disclosing the info, but according to the suit Carbone “allegedly contacted them with knowledge they were subject to confidentiality obligations.” Supporting this claim, the producers have included an email supposedly sent by realitysteve to a Bachelor contestant on Nov 17. It reads:

“Let me just say, I’m very well aware of your contract. I also know that over 500 contestants have been on this show and not one of them has ever been sued for the $5 million. It’s just a scare tactic. Trust me. Just like they had no idea you sent me that last email, they’ll have no idea about any correspondence either. I know you’re scared and a little paranoid by it, but don’t be. Unless they are hacking your email or tapping your phone, there’s absolutely no way for them to find out.”

In exchange for providing him with information, realitysteve allegedly offered the participant $2,500 if she were willing to breach her contract. “Since you are a student, and I know you have loans up the ying-yang, I’d be willing to compensate you… I swear, this is the easiest money you’d ever make and you and I are the only two people that would know.”

The producers claim this is not an isolated incident and include several other examples of where realitysteve contacted participants and former participants for information to further his site. According to the producers realitysteve was sent more than one cease and desist letters, which were ignored, before they sought legal action against the blogger for “intentional interference with contractual relations and unfair competition and demanding at least $75,000 in damages and an injunction.”

It is interesting to note that despite the producers so-called ire that realitysteve referred to their confidentiality contracts as “scare-tactics” they are not seeking damages against any of the show participants who broke their own contracts!

Rebutting against the lawsuit realitysteve posted a “statement” about claims and insists: “I have not been served a lawsuit, nor have I even seen this lawsuit, so I have no specific comment at this time.”

Instead he posted the communication he received from the production companys’ attorneys. realitysteve’s attorney, Brad Kizzia, insists there has been “no interference” with participants’ contracts and alludes to the website seeking legal action against the plantiffs! “For your clients to sue Mr. Carbone would be unnecessary – at best a waste of the parties time and expense and at worst, an illegal slap action attempting to deny Mr. Carbone’s First Amendment rights.”

Well, this is all very interesting! And in case you weren’t aware Ben Flajnik‘s season of The Bachelor premieres next month…

[Photo Credit: WENN.com]

THOUGHTS? DO THE PRODUCERS HAVE A RIGHT TO SUE REALITYSTEVE FOR LEAKING SPOILERS ABOUT THEIR SHOW? SHOULD THEY BE TAKING ACTION AGAINST THE PARTICIPANTS THAT LEAK INFORMATION INSTEAD? DO YOU BELIEVE THIS A FRIVILOUS LAWSUIT TO GENERATE PUBLICITY FOR THE SHOW OR IS THAT JUST ME?

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