The Bachelorette’s Sam Frost has slapped down claims the show is racist, saying she believes race was never a factor in deciding the show’s all-white cast.
Last week Network Ten released an image of the 14 contestants who had been picked “after a nationwide search involving thousands of men” to compete for Frost’s heart.
The image immediately prompted criticism over the show’s lack of cultural diversity, given the wide search for contestants.
— #BacheloretteAU (@BacheloretteAU) September 6, 2015
“I don’t think they [the producers] even thought about it,” Frost said on the Kyle and Jackie O show on Thursday morning.
“I don’t think it was a thing until the media made it a thing.”
Last year’s season of The Bachelor was similarly accused, with Ten proving the show’s diversity by releasing a number of the contestants’ ancestral history.
But Sandilands believed the controversy was just a coincidence, and said when it comes to race today’s younger generations are colourblind.
“I think a lot of young people don’t think like that. They don’t think `Oh we better have a black, we better have a brown’,” he said.
“We just think people are people and whoever is on the show is on the show.”
Frost agreed: “I think even if you had a black person on there they would think `Oh, token’ so you can’t win.”
How they selected men for Bachelorette: Are you white? Would you wear velvet? Do you have abs? Would you hold an owl? #thebacheloretteau
— Isabel Durer (@isabelDurer) September 6, 2015
I know it’s bad there’s no diversity on #TheBacheloretteAU cast but straight white men are the people I’m most okay seeing humiliated on TV.
— Jordan Archer (@JordanArcher11) September 10, 2015
In 2012, producers of the US version of The Bachelor, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), were unsuccessfully sued by two African American men claiming their exclusion from the show was racial discrimination.
The ABC successfully argued that not casting non-white contestants was protected under the First Amendment as a form of creative expression, although they denied ever having done so.