University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Claybrooks v. American Broadcasting Companies PA-TN-0001
Docket / Court 3:12-cv-00388 ( M.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Public Accomm./Contracting
Case Summary
On April 18, 2012, two African-American men who had unsuccessfully applied to be cast as The Bachelor in the ABC television program of the same name filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, under § 1981 and Cal. Civ. §§ 51, 51.5 against ... read more >
On April 18, 2012, two African-American men who had unsuccessfully applied to be cast as The Bachelor in the ABC television program of the same name filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, under § 1981 and Cal. Civ. §§ 51, 51.5 against ABC. The complaint was filed as a class action, with plaintiffs seeking to sue on behalf of the class of all people of color who had unsuccessfully applied to star as either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief, alleging that they were the victims of ABC's racial discrimination. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that ABC has intentionally and as a matter of corporate policy refused to cast people of color in the role of the Bachelor and Bachelorette for all 23 seasons of the two programs.

On October 15, 2012, the Court (Judge Trauger) dismissed the case with prejudice on the grounds that applying anti-discrimination provisions to casting decisions would threaten the content of various television networks and their ability to target certain demographic groups and that it would chill protected speech.

On November 11, 2012, the plaintiffs moved to alter the judgment and to file an amended complaint. On April 4, 2013, both motions were denied.

Christopher Schad - 05/24/2012
Katherine Reineck - 02/21/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
None on record
Causes of Action State law
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Plaintiff Description two African American men who unsuccessfully applied to be cast as The Bachelor in the ABC television program of the same name and, if the class is certified, all people of color who unsuccessfully applied to star in the role The Bachelor or The Bachelorette
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:12−cv−00388 (M.D. Tenn.) 10/15/2012
PA-TN-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Damages 04/18/2012
PA-TN-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 10/15/2012 (898 F.Supp.2d 986) (M.D. Tenn.)
PA-TN-0001-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Trauger, Aleta Arthur (M.D. Tenn.)
PA-TN-0001-0002 | PA-TN-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barrett, George E. (Tennessee)
PA-TN-0001-0001 | PA-TN-0001-9000
Best, Zachary W. (District of Columbia)
PA-TN-0001-9000
Lieder, Michael P. (District of Columbia)
PA-TN-0001-9000
Lyons, Terrinell (Alabama)
PA-TN-0001-9000
Maxwell, Sarah C. (Tennessee)
PA-TN-0001-9000 | PA-TN-0001-9000
Mehri, Cyrus (District of Columbia)
PA-TN-0001-0001 | PA-TN-0001-9000
Perkins, Byron Renard (Alabama)
PA-TN-0001-0001 | PA-TN-0001-9000
Tift, Scott P. (Tennessee)
PA-TN-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bryant, Kenneth M. (Tennessee)
PA-TN-0001-9000
Grubbs, Shelby R. (Tennessee)
PA-TN-0001-9000
Kurtz, Ryan A. (Georgia)
PA-TN-0001-9000
Levin, Adam (California)
PA-TN-0001-9000
Odubeko, Junaid A. (Tennessee)
PA-TN-0001-9000
Pierce, Seth E. (California)
PA-TN-0001-9000
Pinkley, T. Harold (Tennessee)
PA-TN-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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