'Bachelor' Racism Lawsuit Producers Encourage White Power Mentality

4/18/2012 11:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
The producers of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" are responsible for encouraging racism across the country by refusing to cast black people in the shows' central roles -- this according to a new class action lawsuit.

Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks filed the lawsuit today in Tennessee federal court against the shows' producers -- claiming they both auditioned for "The Bachelor" in Nashville in August 2011 ... but were brazenly denied based solely on the color of their skin.

Christopher and Nathaniel claim producers were afraid to cast them for fear of alienating "the show's majority-white viewership."

As a result, the guys claim producers are teaching the public how to be racist -- by demonstrating preferences for white relationships over non-white and interracial relationships.

They might have a point too ... because the show has never once cast a person of color -- black, Asian, Latino, whatever -- in the central role as Bachelor or Bachelorette.

"Bachelor" creator Michael Fleiss has even acknowledged the problem -- stating long before the lawsuit was filed ... "We always want to cast for ethnic diversity. It's just that for whatever reason, they don't come forward. I wish they would."

Chris and Nathaniel are now demanding a change in "Bachelor" policy -- requiring producers to "consider persons of color as finalists for the role of the Bachelor and the Bachelorette."

Oh yeah, they also want money -- an unspecified amount of punitive damages.