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Ex reality TV producer reveals people of colour ‘don’t sell’ on dating shows

The sad reason why dating shows are so white: Reality TV producer reveals why people of colour ‘don’t sell’ – after Niranga Amarasinghe hinted at the lack of diversity on Bachelor in Paradise

Bachelor in Paradise star Niranga Amarasinghe appeared to take a subtle swipe at the dating show’s lack of diversity by posting a telling cast photo to Instagram on Thursday.

And a former TV producer, who has worked on The Bachelor franchise among other programs, revealed to HuffPost Australia on Thursday the sad reason why some reality shows only cast a few people of colour per season.

They explained that while producers don’t necessarily plan to cast one or two ‘token’ non-whites, bringing in a person of colour for ‘an intimate role is making a statement [that] isn’t going to sell’ to the mainstream audience.

The sad reason why dating shows are so white: A former reality TV producer has revealed why people of colour ‘don’t sell’. Pictured (from left): Bachelor in Paradise cast members  Mary Viturino, Jamie Doran, Niranga Amarasinghe and Cassandra Mamone

The TV insider, who asked to remain anonymous, added that producers also have to keep the suitor’s preferences in mind, which means they often cast a few ‘filler’ contestants who don’t match what the Bachelor or Bachelorette wants.

They also said that getting the balance of cast members right is important to securing advertisers and viewers. 

‘Knowing how these shows work, the network only cares about ratings, so if there is a main focus like a suitor on a dating show, often they find someone they believe to be “uncontroversial”,’ the former producer said.

All about the ratings: The TV insider, who asked to remain anonymous, explained that while producers don't plan to cast one or two 'token' non-whites, bringing in person of colour for 'an intimate role is making a statement [that] isn't going to sell' to the mainstream audience

All about the ratings: The TV insider, who asked to remain anonymous, explained that while producers don’t necessarily plan to cast one or two ‘token’ non-whites, bringing in a person of colour for ‘an intimate role is making a statement [that] isn’t going to sell’ to the mainstream

‘I think systematic racism in this country extends to our TV screens. It’s kind of f**ked to think that the majority of audiences are fine watching BIPOC [black, Indigenous and people of color] contestants perform for them, but not fall in love,’ they added.

A Channel 10 spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Eligible contestants on all Network 10 shows are considered regardless of race or background. Network 10 takes its commitment to diversity seriously and we cast as broadly as possible across our entire slate.’

It comes after Bachelor in Paradise’s Niranga Amarasinghe seemingly took a swipe at the program’s lack of diversity by sharing a cast photo after the first Rose Ceremony.

In the centre of the group shot, Niranga is seen smiling directly behind Mary Viturino. At this stage, they are the only people of colour on the show.

Dropping a hint: It comes after Bachelor in Paradise's Niranga Amarasinghe seemingly took a swipe at the program's lack of diversity by sharing a cast photo after the first Rose Ceremony

Dropping a hint: It comes after Bachelor in Paradise’s Niranga Amarasinghe seemingly took a swipe at the program’s lack of diversity by sharing a cast photo after the first Rose Ceremony

'People say one picture speaks a thousand words. This picture speaks an infinity': In the centre of the group shot, Niranga is seen smiling directly behind Mary Viturino. At this stage, they are the only people of colour on the show

‘People say one picture speaks a thousand words. This picture speaks an infinity’: In the centre of the group shot, Niranga is seen smiling directly behind Mary Viturino. At this stage, they are the only people of colour on the show

The aircraft engineer, 28, wrote a telling caption on Instagram: ‘People say one picture speaks a thousand words. This picture speaks an infinity.’ 

This fact wasn’t lost on viewers, one of whom tweeted this week: ‘They have a POC [person of colour] guy on #BachelorInParadiseAU and they don’t give him any screen time. Please gimme some diversity.’

‘You guys really need to stop casting token Asians and/or PoC for your bloody shows! Show some real DIVERSITY and by diversity I don’t mean just blondes [or] brunettes,’ another wrote on Twitter. 

Several viewers compared Bachelor in Paradise to MasterChef: Back to Win, which also airs on Channel 10 and has an ethnically diverse cast.

‘So after an amazing celebration of Australian diversity in #MasterChefAU we’re going to #BachelorInParadiseAU where 11 of the 13 look to be white af and of course completely heteronormative,’ one tweeted.

Diversity: Several viewers have compared Bachelor in Paradise to MasterChef: Back to Win, which also airs on Channel 10 and has an ethnically diverse cast. Pictured (from left): Jess Liemantara, Khanh Ong, Poh Ling Yeow, Brendan Pang and Reynold Poernomo

Diversity: Several viewers have compared Bachelor in Paradise to MasterChef: Back to Win, which also airs on Channel 10 and has an ethnically diverse cast. Pictured (from left): Jess Liemantara, Khanh Ong, Poh Ling Yeow, Brendan Pang and Reynold Poernomo

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk