But even “The Bachelor’s” short-lived competition — like “Average Joe,” “For Love or Money” and “Joe Millionaire” — featured predominately white casts.
So why does it seem like dating shows might be behind the curve when it comes to inclusion?Nashville-based plaintiffs Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson assert in their complaint that: “‘Dancing with the Stars’ and ‘Extreme Makeover’ only involve platonic, as opposed to romantic, relationships among the cast members. This indicates that the presence of people of color in ABC programming is acceptable so long as there is no exhibition of actual romance between non-whites or whites and people of color.”
The lawsuit has helped stoke a conversation about diversity and dating shows, especially when it comes to black-white relationships.Allison Samuels, a senior writer at Newsweek/The Daily Beast, said the men who filed suit may be on to something.
“When it comes to romance and love, I just don’t think African-Americans … are viewed as people who love or know how to love,” Samuels said. “We’re made to be people who are not interesting or attractive … and can’t have that fairytale.”