Some moments in reality TV are uncomfortable to watch, to say the least. Season four of Bachelor In Paradise may have just crossed the line from the usual hilariously uncomfy to way too much.
Bachelor Nation will know about the scandal surrounding the upcoming season, but just in case you don’t, here’s a brief explanation: After news broke of a suspension for the fourth season of the dating competition series, details emerged that two contestants may have engaged in sexual activity that went beyond the lines of consent. Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson allegedly had sexual contact while Olympios was too drunk to properly consent, making two producers uncomfortable to the point of complaining, causing a shutdown of the season and eventually ending in a self-investigation by ABC that said nobody had done anything wrong. Filming resumed and new rules were put into place for the safety of the contestants.
Yeah, it’s a lot to take in.
The aftermath of the aforementioned incident resulted in a lot of controversy, including slut-shaming hurled at Olympios and racism at Jackson. Eventually, the show responded with a trailer that was pretty… Yikes. Watch it for yourself.
To put it summarily, this video treats assault allegations as unfortunate only for the reason that it delayed the show, not because there was a victim or harm done to people’s lives, reputations and families. ABC seems to think sexual assault, alleged, proven, or otherwise, is summed up with sad tweets, sad contestants and some sad b-roll.
Well, now they’re probably going to screw something else up!
Bachelor In Paradise will be showing scenes that feature both Olympios and Jackson because apparently their privacy doesn’t matter and they didn’t want to “just throw [footage] away.”
According to the show’s host Chris Harrison, the premiere will feature the scenes as well as his own explanation of what went wrong. Yes, good idea. Chris Harrison, someone paid by the network, which seems to be pretty biased in the whole thing, should explain what went down.
We had already shot for three days [before the shutdown] and a lot had actually happened — a lot of people had arrived, there had been dates, we’d gotten to the point where there was about to be our first rose ceremony — so we had a week’s worth of stuff [that] we didn’t want to just throw that away because that’s what impacted the show and it’s what led to the shutdown.
We thought you needed to see that. So you’re going to see a lot of it, including Corinne and DeMario on the show. When we restart, it will be me back in Mexico walking you through what happened and then we’re going to watch what happened. And then we’ll cut back to me and I’ll kind of shed some more light on things and then we’re going to go back and you’re going to see more of what happened, [and] not just the controversial. You’re going to see a lot of things, people falling in love, a lot of dates happening.
If this were to be handled a bit more sensitively, someone else (someone not on the network’s payroll with a stake in its own innocence) would explain the situation, consent and how victims of sexual assault (which isn’t necessarily validated by investigations, hence its lack of reporting… Let’s not even begin!) can seek help.
TBH, ABC will likely handle this how they handled racism on Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette (and how they handle all other sensitive subjects on the show): tip-toeing around the issue and making sure to be as laissez faire as possible when it comes to their own responsibility and role.
If you’re into watching a train wreck, check out Bachelor In Paradise on Monday, August 14.