A federal judge has dismissed a suit two black men filed against ABC, claiming the network engaged in racial discrimination when it did not cast them in the “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette,” two popular reality series.

The two men—Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson—claimed in their suit that in 10 years and 23 combined seasons, no person of color has ever been cast in either show. In addition to ABC, their suit targeted Warner Horizon Television, Next Entertainment, NZK Productions and the shows’ executive producer, Mike Fleiss.

But U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger dismissed the case on Monday, saying that while the two men had a “laudable” goal in filing the suit, the show’s producers—protected by the First Amendment—have a right to control their creative content. She went on to explain, for example, that freedom of speech in media allowed “The Cosby Show” to have an all-black cast and “Jersey Shore” to cast all Italian-Americans.

“We felt from the outset this case was completely without merit and we are pleased the court has found in our favor,” WB Entertainment spokesman Paul McGuire told TMZ yesterday.

Read more about this story on Thomson Reuters.

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