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'Bachelor' Racism Lawsuit

Producers Encourage

White Power Mentality

4/18/2012 11:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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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.

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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.

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