By now, you have likely heard about the allegations of misconduct on the set of season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise. The incident that led to the summer reality series to shut down production allegedly occurred between Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, when the pair, who were reportedly extremely intoxicated, were seen engaging in a sex act in the pool. A producer on the series reported the incident and sued the show for misconduct in the workplace.
Now, a former producer on Bachelor in Paradise has revealed behind-the-scenes secrets to People — ones that illustrate the culture of the reality show.
While it's par for the course that Bachelor in Paradise — a show far less regimented than its predecessors, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette — films the contestants as much as possible, fans might be surprised to learn that there's little reprieve from the cameras. Eventually, the producer explained to People, the contestants start forgetting that they're being filmed, or, more accurately, stop caring. That means that, yes, the camera picks up on hookups that fans don't see on network television.
"There are cameras everywhere and there’s nowhere to hide, so when cast members behave outrageously, they allow themselves to forget there are cameras — and just get caught up in the moment," the producer explained.
Unlike reality shows where the contestants constantly reiterate how they are "not here to make friends," the producer revealed that the stars of BiP were greatly encouraged to form friendships, which he believes leads to the contestants drinking as social lubrication.
"The whole point of the show is that to succeed you need to make friends, and people feel it’s advantageous to drink and hook up and find a boyfriend or girlfriend," he told People.
Unlike, say, the ethically questionable Rachel on Lifetime's UnREAL, the producers do try to protect the contestants when things get out of hand. In fact, the producer explained that many of the other producers are women and are particularly sensitive to issues of consent — which is why the situation between Olympios and Jackson is being handled in such a way.
“Let me start by saying the safety and care of the cast and crew of our show is of the utmost importance to us,” he explained. “It is with this thought in mind that we made the decision to suspend filming. An investigation into the situation was started immediately. Warner Bros. is handling the details of that investigation. They’re moving quickly to gather all the facts, and once that’s done, a clear, concise decision can be made about where we go from here.”
"We have become aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico.," said a representative for Warner Bros. "We have suspended production and we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations. Once the investigation is complete, we will take appropriate responsive action."
Wells Adams, the bartender who was cast to appear on season 4 and a former Bachelorette contestant, also shared kind words about BiP on Twitter:
"Some of the greatest moments in my life happened in Paradise. Some of the greatest people that I've gotten to spend time with (in front of and behind the cameras) happened in Paradise. One of the most beautiful and genuine love stories unfolded in front of my eyes in paradise. My heart breaks for those who don't share the same experiences."
Here's hoping this situation gets sorted out as soon as possible.