All The Ways The Bachelor In Paradise Cast Defended Their Show

Photo: ABC/ Bob D’Amico.
For a while this summer, it looked as though (Bachelor In) Paradise was lost, as the unsettling first trailer for the reality show teased. The sunny ABC series wasn't almost "ruined," as the promo says, because of a storm or some other natural disaster. No, BIP season 4 was nearly called off because of sexual misconduct allegations surrounding cast members DeMario Jackson and Corrine Olympios. That is very serious.
While an investigation eventually found no wrongdoing had occurred, the cloud of the scandal hung over this week's premiere, which was split up into two parts. The first revealed everything that happened before production was shut down over the accusations, and Tuesday night's "Part 2" showed the cast's return to Paradise following their filming hiatus. Unsurprisingly, both Jackson and Olympios chose not to reappear on the show this year.
To deal with the massive elephant in the room, host Chris Harrison and the entire remaining Paradise cast had a big ol' discussion about their decision to continue the show. Some statements packed a punch, while others definitely fell short. Keep reading to learn each and every defense the cast and crew gave to defend their now-controversial reality TV series.
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The No Stone Left Unturned Defense

Allegations of sexual misconduct usually put a damper on boozy searches for love. But, Bachelorette season 13's Matt Munson decided that fact wasn’t enough to stop him from prematurely ending his Paradise journey.

“Restarting this whole thing raised a lot of questions for all of us. I don’t think any of us expected to be here,” the part-time penguin admitted in a confessional interview. “Um, I know I had some doubts, but, I didn’t want to have something that I just completely left unfinished.”
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The Chris Harrison Legal Defense

As essentially the face of Bachelor Nation, host-producer-Svengali Chris Harrison needed to have the most direct defense of Bachelor In Paradise. That is why he gave a very straight-forward explanation of the investigation into the accusations around Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson’s rumored encounter.

“Warner Bros. hired an outside firm to look into everything that supposedly happened here," he explained to the cast. "They looked at all the video footage, sent people down here to interview all of you [contestants, along with] our staff. They concluded that there was no evidence of misconduct by cast on the set.”
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The Donald Trump-esque Defense

A lot of the cast blames The Dishonest Media and #FakeNews for the way the investigation blew up.

“It was just hard going back home and seeing, like, the media blow it so out of proportion,” Alexis "Dolphin Girl" Waters said. Alex Woytkiw agreed, adding, “I think there was a lot in the media regarding the producers as if they’re not our friends, and that they’re just using us to make us do things. Like we’re just gonna do whatever they say.”
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The Producer Defense

More than anything, it sounds like the Bachelor In Paradise cast wants you to know the producers are innocent of any UnReal-style malevolence.

After Alex ragged on the media, Derek Peth picked up his former rival’s mental thread, adding, “I think there’s a weird perception that exists out there that we’re not in control of ourselves when we’re here. And, like, there’s this puppet master thing occurring.”

At this point, the object of Derek’s Paradise affection, Taylor Nolan, took a shot at the idea the series is ruled over by “evil, manipulative producers,” swearing, “everything we do here and we say here is because we decided to.” Taylor’s proof? The fact no producer has ever suggested the sober reality star drink alcohol during filming.
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The DeMario Defense

When everyone stopped heaping praise on the benevolent Paradise producers, they moved on to DeMario, who was very clearly the victim of a racist narrative.

“It was so unfair the way people were speaking about DeMario and the blame he was getting and the horrible things said to him,” Raven Gates said. “No matter if everything’s cleared up, people are still going to associate something bad happening with Corinne and DeMario.” She later continued, “I’m from the South, and we have a stigma that seeing a Black man and a white woman is ‘wrong.’ And, that night, what happened was wrong, and so, I was super empathetic with DeMario.”

Iggy agreed, again dragging the press by adding, “It was really hard to see him typecast as this individual who sort of almost created the ‘event,’ right? It seemed like it was his responsibility in the media, and I think it was a really unfair representation of what happened.”

Diggy Moreland, the only Black man currently on the show, was even allowed to have some rare camera time to speak about the issue. “I empathize with DeMario a lot more, just because, obviously, we had a Black male and a white female. But he has 20, 30 years of Google searches that are going to be done of his name. So, any time he wants to apply for a job … even though you know nothing happened, do they want to take this baggage on? So, I’m thinking about the long-term effects, and I was really, really pissed about that.”

Similarly, the sole Black woman in the cast, Jasmine Goode, explained she thinking during the ordeal, “What if this happened to my brother?”
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The Corrine Defense?

While everyone had a lot say about the health and future of DeMario Jackson’s Google searches, the cast usually just tacked Corinne’s name to the end of their pro-DeMario monologues.

Some defenses of Corinne felt more like defenses of the cast’s own statements regarding their slut-shamed co-star, as Raven said, “[We were] never calling her any names or judging her for anything she did, because we didn’t think she did anything wrong. And neither did DeMario."

When talking about Corinne’s statement about the controversy — wherein she called herself a victim — cast members labeled it “vague” by design, an attempt to “save face,” and a conspiracy created by lawyers to protect the reality star.

At least Alexis tried to call out slut-shaming, but the statement still felt more like a diss of the practice in its entirety than a defense of specifically Corrine. “Like a guy can go and have sex with 10 girls, and it’d be okay. But if it a girl does it, it’s, like, so wrong.”
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The Consent Conversation

Host Chris decided to wrap up the group conversation proving the men and women of BIP care deeply about consent. Taylor stressed the importance of straightforward verbal consent, which is now required before all Paradise hookups, while Ben Zorn took the chat a step further. “You need consent throughout. Just because somebody gives consent in the beginning doesn’t mean they can’t have the right to say no at any point. So, consent needs to be throughout everything.”

To put the consent conversation to the test, Chris asked every contestant to confirm they actually want to be on Paradise. He said if the majority “feels like we should not continue” then the group wouldn’t continue with the show. Since there are still many more weeks of the show set to air, of course, everyone consented to staying.
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