Marketing Discrimination in the Media
After a 10- year run, neither ‘The Bachelor‘ nor ‘The Bachelorette‘ has yet to feature a Black, Latino or Asian person. In the 16 seasons of ‘The Bachelor’ and seven of ‘The Bachelorette’ only 16 were Black out of a collective total of 610 contestants, and none were selected for the lead.
According to black football players Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson who had tried out for “The Bachelor,” ABC has intentionally excluded non-whites from the shows. Claybrooks and Johnson claimed in a lawsuit that ABC excludes non-whites solely because of the perceived risk that more diverse casting would alienate white viewers, which are the majority, as well as ADVERTISERS. The complaint also says that minorities in lead roles and interracial dating is unappealing to the shows’ audiences.
Are both ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ examples of marketing discrimination in the media? The determining fact is the business objective. In general, if a TV network targets a white population to secure advertisers and product placement deals because they believe non-white viewers are less valuable, that is marketing discrimination.
To date, only a handful of social-media users commenting on the news, and most are not shocked by the allegations. As a result, a social-media campaign that has been lobbying for Lamar Hurd to become the first Black “Bachelor” (@1stblkbachelor) may finally have paid off. CBS Los Angeles reports that the show’s producers are considering the Black sportscaster from Portland as their next bachelor.
‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ call attention to changing demographics and expectations among the American audience, and the importance of television accurately reflecting our society. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the white population is decreasing and projects that whites will make up less than half of the total population by 2050.
For TV networks, the challenge is to remain abreast of changing audiences. Importantly, when it comes to defining an audience, networks must find the right balance so the audience recognizes that the program, advertising, and product placement deals are talking specifically to them.Tags: Christopher Johnson, discrimination, Lamar Hurd, marketing, Nathaniel Claybrooks, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, the media