Less than two months after Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson filed a discrimination suit against The Bachelor producers Warner Horizon Television and Bachelor network ABC, both parties have struck back. EW has obtained papers confirming that judges in the U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee in Nashville have agreed to stay the trial in consideration of a change of venue, as first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
The defendants’ goal is to move the trial to California, which has historically been kind to productions like The Bachelor. Moreover, since all 23 seasons of the franchise (including The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and their heir Bachelor Pad) have hosted their final casting rounds out of Los Angeles, that jurisdiction is a natural home for the case. Further, ABC and Warner Horizon are planning to claim that casting decisions are protected under the First Amendment, a risky gambit that has not always been rewarded in comparable cases.
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp lawyers Seth Pierce and Adam Levin, who represented ABC in Nicolette Sheridan’s wrongful termination trial against them, are representing ABC and Warner Horizon in the case moving forward.