Producers for ABC’s The Bachelor broke their silence concerning the discrimination lawsuit against the hit series.

“This complaint is baseless and without merit,” read a statement by Warner Horizon, one of the production companies behind the show. “In fact, we have had various participants of color throughout the series’ history, and the producers have been consistently — and publicly — vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both programs. As always, we continue to seek out participants of color for both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.”

The statement refers to the fact the shows had included a diverse array of contestants vying for The Bachelor/Bachelorette’s attention. The suit, however, is focused on the homogeneous casting of the starring role, which in recent years has been chosen from among the top three contestants from a previous season.

Two black men are taking the decade-long TV franchise to court, accusing producers of exhibiting a “refusal to hire minority applicants” as part of “a conscious attempt to minimize the risk of alienating their majority-white viewership and the advertisers targeting that viewership.”

Episode Recaps