The Reason Former Bachelor in Paradise Star Evan Bass Thinks The Show Shouldn't Be Canceled Is Infuriating
There's a lot of news coming out of the Bachelor in Paradise set, with numerous conflicting reports. But let's briefly go over the facts: we know there is an active investigation underway involving alleged "misconduct" between cast members Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson. We know that the issue may involve excessive alcohol consumption, sexual activity, and lack of consent.
We have statements from both Olympios and Jackson, both of which tell very two different sides of a story. Beyond that, everything else is conjecture, mostly spoken by current and former Bachelor cast members, each with their own agenda and biases. Now former Bachelorette contestant and Bachelor In Paradise star Evan Bass has decided to add his two cents in a long guest essay for The Hollywood Reporter.
In his piece, Bass pleads with ABC not to cancel the Bachelor in Paradise series, arguing that his experience was overall very positive. After all, Bass and former Bachelor contestant Carly Waddell met on the set of Bachelor in Paradise last season and are now engaged and getting ready to film their wedding for TV.
He notes that the production team "helped...navigate feelings and make decisions that are in line with our values." Overall, Bass paints a picture of the producers as present and engaged with the cast, which contrasts with some other stories we've heard.
While Bass wasn't on set during season 4, he makes clear that he does not believe Olympios was assaulted, writing that he "doesn't believe that [DeMario] thought he was hurting Corinne or that he knew she wasn’t able to give consent." He trots out all the usual victim blaming arguments: she has a high-powered lawyer, Jackson is a "good guy," and he never felt unsafe on the show.
Look, it's great that he found love on the set of the show. But to extrapolate his experience onto a situation for which he was not present, and which may involve sexual assault, is the height of victim-blaming. He apparently feels that his positive experience supersedes Olympios' right to privacy, an investigation, and retooling of safety protocols on set.
Bass even condescendingly refers to consent in quotes throughout the essay; "consent," as though it's a cute idea, not the most foundational basis of sexual activity. Whatever you think of what happened, closing down production of the show to allow for an investigation is the right thing to do. Listening to Olympios' statement is the right thing to do. While an investigation is taking place, and while woman feels victimized, Bass is having a televised wedding. That's probably the only reality show he should comment on from now on.
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