Why ‘Bachelors’ or ‘Bachelorettes’ Are Always White

Mar 18, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Mike Fleiss,  the creator of "The Bachelor" franchise, was asked point blank by a reporter recently, "Will we ever see a bachelor or a bachelorette who is not white?"

The question was posed by Lynette Rice of EW.com’s Inside TV blog.

Here’s Fleiss’ reply, "I think Ashley is 1/16th Cherokee Indian, but I cannot confirm. But that is my suspicion! We really tried, but sometimes we feel guilty of tokenism. Oh, we have to wedge African-American chicks in there! We always want to cast for ethnic diversity, it’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward. I wish they would."

But Greg Braxton in the Los Angeles Times wrote, "[O]ne of television’s top producers had another word for the absence of minorities on ‘The Bachelor’: racism. ‘[T]hey blame minorites [sic] for ‘not coming forward’. What a joke," Shawn Ryan, creator of ‘The Shield’ and Fox’s ‘The Chicago Code,’ wrote on Twitter, discussing Fleiss’ comments. Ryan, whose dramas have included leading and prominent minority characters, maintained the absence was indicative of ‘[s]traight up racism. They just don’t think America will watch black bachelor [sic] or root for mixed-race marriage.’

The Times story notes that Fleiss didn’t make himself available for comment, while Ryan declined to elaborate on his Twitter comment. Both men are white.

14 Comments

  1. Sad to say, we have come to the point where any show that doesn’t include ‘minorities’ has to be considered ‘racist.’
    If so why are there so many all-black programs? Where are the Asians, whites, and Mexicans on those shows? Are they racist too?
    Can’t we just cast shows the way the producers and directors wish; without bringing up a battle all the time?

  2. Lynette Rice of EW.com is white by the way, before anyone goes thinking this a person of color talking about race.
    Why she went there? Hey, ask her.

  3. Why is there a BET newtork..and not a WET network? Why are they allowed to have BLACK ENTERTAIMENT TELEVISION AND BLACK MISS AMERICA..and not be called racists? Double standard..doncha think? I am sooo sick of the race card. The blacks are the racists ones..not the whites..THEY are the ones bringing it up constantly. It’s sickening.

  4. JEOPARDY!!! This is the MOST racist show that has ever been broadcast!!!! You hardly ever see black contestants and never a Black Jeopardy champion. Wazzz up with dat??

  5. Why? Because of a lack of diversity on the major broadcast and cable networks and a lack of recognition in beauty pagents – THAT is why BET was created, to serve an under-served and under-represented market. THAT is why Black Miss America was created, because until Vanessa Williams, women of color (black, Asian, Hispanic …) were not represented since America’s idea of beauty is fairly aryan (blonde hair, blue eyes). So don’t get it twisted. And a black person DID NOT bring it up.It is easy enough to google those individuals mentioned in the article (who happen to be white) So as I’ve said, don’t get it twisted!

  6. Believe me, I get the guy’s point… I don’t see a “Indian-American” network, showing general entertainment programming. Same for Jewish programing… or how about middle eastern sitcoms. I personally cannot wait to get home to watch the “oriental music channel” on my cable TV.
    Point blank… if everyone wants to be so politically correct, why not make the socialism for everyone… that way EVERYONE is equal, meaning nobody is racist.
    Funny how the one’s who are crying fowl are not the one’s who are doing something to solve the problem.
    I was called racist after noticing that MC Donald’s had a radio commercial pointed towards helping blacks only. They got their chocolate sauce from black companies, and helped black organizations. Funny how I was the only one who actually saw this, then got blasted for noticing that it helps only 1 group, not the whole community.
    To the original comment poster…. Thanks for having the guts to mention this. That is exactly what we need to actually have a dialogue about how to actually stop racism and it ill-fitted claims of.
    Funny how the racists are also “Hater Proof”… but the one’s who want equality are “haters.” That’s what we need to talk about!

  7. Believe me, I get the guy’s point… I don’t see a “Indian-American” network, showing general entertainment programming. Same for Jewish programing… or how about middle eastern sitcoms. I personally cannot wait to get home to watch the “oriental music channel” on my cable TV.
    Point blank… if everyone wants to be so politically correct, why not make the socialism for everyone… that way EVERYONE is equal, meaning nobody is racist.
    Funny how the one’s who are crying fowl are not the one’s who are doing something to solve the problem.
    I was called racist after noticing that MC Donald’s had a radio commercial pointed towards helping blacks only. They got their chocolate sauce from black companies, and helped black organizations. Funny how I was the only one who actually saw this, then got blasted for noticing that it helps only 1 group, not the whole community.
    To the original comment poster…. Thanks for having the guts to mention this. That is exactly what we need to actually have a dialogue about how to actually stop racism and it ill-fitted claims of.
    Funny how the racists are also “Hater Proof”… but the one’s who want equality are “haters.” That’s what we need to talk about!

  8. Ummmm… maybe because “wazzup wit dat” is not ENGLISH, its a garbage perversion of the language, and Jeopardy is supposed to show high INTELLIGENCE which would include using the english language properly, and those like you who don’t make all americans look stupid.

  9. I’d actually like to see what “OneNewsMan” is doing to overcome that issue. Sitting on the sidelines and complaining are not going to get a Jeopardy champion any sooner. A spade is a spade, even when it’s turned red and has no crown (or looks like a club).
    Besides, It’s not Canada, UK, South Africa, Austrailia, New Zealand… we are not socialist… you have to work to get somewhere. If you don’t work it, you do not get any further. Obama is trying to change us into “everybody’s equal… but it’s not there yet! Thank God. survival of the fittest.

  10. Come to Northern Virginia…there is an Indian American network!

  11. How can the media say they “want to cast for ethnic diversity” when they do not understand what diversity means? How can they say that the African American people of our country are not coming forward, when they have created a world of misrepresentation not only for African Americans but several ethnic groups? Since the very early stages of formal entertainment, African Americans have been shown as caricatures and minstrels leaving the impression that they were there purely for entertainment purposes for the White man. “The public image of African Americans as inherently happy, frequently singing and dancing, was often created from a mode of interaction necessary to literally survive adversity in pre-Civil War American. Often African American performed dances such as the cakewalk for the White plantation owners (Acham, pg. 8).” Even as television shifted towards more African American representation during the 1970’s and 1980’s, there was a continuum of illustration in the media. “Television has been used to oppress the African American population. For instance, shows such as Cops continue to re-inscribe specific ideas about criminality and the black population. Television during the Black Revolution was often within the control of white producers, and many of the fictional programs starting African Americans did seem to represent either idealistic images, such as Julia, or historical caricatures of black life, as seen in J.J. of Good Times (Acham, pg. 4).”
    In specific reference to the reality television shows, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, the media fears that if they have a star of their show who is African American, it will reduce their ratings as they assume only African Americans want to watch African Americans. There have been 17 seasons of which all have featured White men and women. Furthermore, while there are African American contestants spread throughout different seasons, it is clear that they are there as tokens in order for producers to check their box. The issue remains that our society has preconceived notions of each particular ethnic group. African Americans have been stereotyped into categories that are outright misleading and offensive. We have created a society for more than a century that causes African Americans to not only be on the defense, but to pull from one another for support. From a media perspective, clearly there is not a feeling of safety and actually equality that African Americans feel. Of course, when the creator says they tried to cast for ethnicity but felt guilty of tokenism, one can see how it would be less than appealing to any ethnic group. Why would they feel guilty if they were truly focused on diversity and integration? Wouldn’t most people celebrate that?
    Acham, Christine. “Reading the Roots of Resistance: Television of the Black Revolution” in Revolution Televised: Prime Time and the Struggle for Black Power. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004. (pp. 1-23)

  12. On the other hand, I also do not see Middle-Eastern cultures, American (US-aboriginal) Indians, Oriental, or other cultures represented. Why does everything have to only be about black and white? It was not just blacks and white who had a dream years ago. Dr. King sang the hopes of futures for all cultures. Why not have all cultures represented? Clearly this is not happening.
    Just remember, It’s not black and white… there is grey area too. Or in this case, black, white and various browns.

  13. Red Blanchard, It’s NOT just blacks who don’t get the opportunity to appear on these shows, but other so called minorites as well (latinos, Asians, etc.), but your reply and a few others really doesn’t surprise me in the scheme of things when it comes to this nation. Why not skirt the issue when I can just answer it truthfully, that those networks aren’t looking for blacks or any other colored persons, when they can keep the steady stream of white folks watching? Fine by me, especially with the fact that the majority of those so called couples end up separating or divorced in the long run any how. Guess it is good that blacks and others aren’t chosen then huh?

  14. Red Blanchard, It’s NOT just blacks who don’t get the opportunity to appear on these shows, but other so called minorites as well (latinos, Asians, etc.), but your reply and a few others really doesn’t surprise me in the scheme of things when it comes to this nation. Why not skirt the issue when I can just answer it truthfully, that those networks aren’t looking for blacks or any other colored persons, when they can keep the steady stream of white folks watching? Fine by me, especially with the fact that the majority of those so called couples end up separating or divorced in the long run any how. Guess it is good that blacks and others aren’t chosen then huh?

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)