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There's no bug in Jira, and there's no need for this "workaround" - and it actually breaks your data, as well as not being needed because there's nothing to work around. This has not changed in 20 years, let alone the last five since the question was asked.
Go to the field setup under admin -> custom fields, configure the field, and remove the default.
There is an option for "none" as a default value. Should be at the top of the list.