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Is The Bachelorette racist? Maybe

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Emily Maynard debuts as The Bachelorette

ABC's The Bachelorette returned Monday night with Emily Maynard and a house full of new male suitors. The main thing missing? Minorities.

We knew not to expect a ton of craziness when it came to Emily Maynard's debut episode on The Bachelorette, but we expected some excitement. What did we get? A ton of time focused on Maynard's life with her daughter and future plans that include "a minivan full of babies" by the time she's 31.

Well, all we know is that the winning dude needs to be ready for an instant family. How many guys are really, really ready for that? It's not boding well for the season.

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The biggest thing that bothered us? Maynard got rid of the only African American bachelor: Real estate consultant Lerone Anu. Now, we're not saying she needs to pick someone she's not attracted to, but why can't they cast at least a few non-white dudes?

Lerone's elimination also gives fire to a recent lawsuit filed by Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson in April. The pair — both black men — say that producers and ABC have declined to cast minority figures in the main roles on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

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"The shows' complete lack of color is no accident," the lawsuit filing reads. "These applicants were denied the same opportunity to become the next Bachelor or Bachelorette as white contestants not because they were unsuitable for the role or could not contribute to the shows' 'eclectic mix,' but solely because of the perceived risk that casting a Bachelor or Bachelorette who is a person of color would alienate the show's majority-white viewership."

Both tried to audition for the show and were quickly denied.

"I only wanted a fair shot at the part," Claybrooks said, according to USA Today. "Looking back at how I was treated at the casting call last year, it was clear that that wasn't possible. I never even had a chance."

Of course, ABC and the production company denied the claims, saying that "this complaint is baseless and without merit. In fact, 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. As always, we continue to seek out participants of color for both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette."

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Well, we're not sure we buy it since there is only minority bachelor left: Alejandro Velez. You mean they haven't been able to find one black, Latino, Asian, etc. applicant to head up the show in 23 seasons? It seems fishy. We'll be watching to see how far Alejandro goes on the show, but something tells us it won't be too far.

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