A new Bachelor has been chosen for ABC’s match-making reality series, “The Bachelor.” Host Chris Harrison announced Monday night that former “The Bachelorette” suitor, Juan Pablo Galavis will star in the next edition of the series. The 32-year-old former pro soccer player reportedly from Venezuela – now living in Miami – is being touted as the first “non-Caucasian” bachelor or bachelorette in franchise history after 18 seasons on the air, says the The Hollywood Reporter.
While the franchise has featured a handful of minorities as suitors—Will Reese, African-American, also appeared on Desiree Hartsock’s season, which just wrapped Monday night. ABC, a producer of Warner Horizon TV, has previously come under fire for casting only white bachelors and bachelorettes for their hit reality series.
Last year a lawsuit was filed against both the network and the producers claiming they violated racial discrimination laws, but the case was eventually thrown out by a federal judge citing the first amendment offered protection against such claims.
Besides The Hollywood Reporter, other news outlets championed the notion that Galavis was a good solution to silence complaints about the show’s lack of diversity.
“Not only do women seem to love him, casting him will help soothe accusations the series doesn’t include enough minorities,” read an E! News report.
Hollywood Gossip writes:
“Finally, to state the obvious, he’s Latino and the reality TV franchise has long been the subject of negative criticism for its lack of racial diversity.
Juan Pablo is Venezuelan-born (his first language isn’t English), and he’s a semi-known commodity that wouldn’t be written off as token minority casting.”
Now it appears ABC may (or may not) be half inching towards adding more diversity in their bachelor selection. But, take a look at Mr. Juan Pablo Galavis. While I have no knowledge of his genetic background, it’s clear he would not have had to sit in the back of an American bus back in the sixties. Although his Latino background may technically classify him as a minority, this does not make him “non-Caucasian.” After all, Latinos are made up of all racial groups, with White European descendants being a large part of that classification.
The move by ABC does not imply a move towards diversity, but a ploy to address the accusations on paper without addressing it on screen. Mr. Galavis, a Venezuelan citizen of Latino decent, on paper appears to be something different from your average white dude, but on screen he looks no different from the British, Spanish, Irish, Italian, Australian, or Russian men that dominate American television.
What are your thoughts about Juan Pablo Galavis being touted as an attempt to add more diversity to “The Bachelor“ cast.