Bachelorette Creator Is Shocked By The “Assholes” That Made It Onto His Shows

Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images.
Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss doesn't know how this keeps happening. Just this season, two of his shows have encountered scandal. Twice the Bachelorette faced criticism for hiring contestants with questionable views. Garrett Yrigoyen's Instagram account had a series of racist, sexist, and homophobic "likes" and Lincoln Adim, it turns out, was convicted of indecent assault and battery for an incident that occurred in 2016. Then, a woman alleged on Facebook that Michael J. Friday, a contestant on Fleiss' show The Proposal aided in her sexual assault.
After sparring with fans about this trio of incidents, Fleiss pledged on Twitter that he is "working very hard to find ways to do better."
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"For the record, I am horrified that any of these abusive assholes are on our shows," he wrote.
Earlier, Fleiss had pointed out that it would be difficult for producers to find out about accusations of sexual assault. (This appears to be in reference to The Proposal.)
"How are we supposed to find out about something that’s never been reported?" he asked, defending the show. In the case of The Proposal, he may have a point — it would be hard to get concrete evidence that this man is an abuser if nothing is on the record. But for The Bachelorette, there isn't much of an excuse, at least in the case of Lincoln Adim. Adim assaulted a woman on a cruise ship in 2016 and faced charged that very same year. He wasn't convicted until May 2018, weeks after production wrapped. This might look like a loophole — he was only a convicted criminal after production — but it's not. As of 2016, he had a pending criminal charge, which would have popped up on a background check. In a statement, Warner Brothers claimed that his background check came up clean.
"We employ a well-respected and highly experienced third party who has done thousands of background checks consistent with industry standards to do a nationwide background check in this case. The report we received did not reference any incident or charge relating to the recent conviction — or any other charges relating to sexual misconduct," the production company said.
ABC pulled the episode of The Proposal containing Michael J. Friday. The Bachelorette is marching forward business as usual, although some on Twitter have asked that ABC edit out Adim's remaining footage.
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