The shocking news that production on Bachelor In Paradise was shut down due to an on-set incident involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson evoked a wide variety of reactions: shock, disgust, horror, nausea, disbelief. For former Paradise and Bachelorette contestant Chad Johnson, it was the latter. In fact, he thought the whole thing was a joke when he first learned of the story.
Johnson spoke to Access Hollywood about the disturbing reports on Wednesday. "I think the first time I saw it was somebody tagged me in something on Twitter, and was like, 'What do you think about this?' And, you know, I thought it was a joke at first," he said. "Then I started reading everything. It's mind-boggling. I have no idea what actually happened." Johnson says he knows as much — or as little — as the rest of us. "I only know what I've read," he said. "You know, I wasn't there, and nobody [who was] there will talk to me. They're all under contract."
Johnson, of course, has some particular insight into the situation given his experience with on-set misconduct, including multiple run-ins with cast members and producers on both Bachelor In Paradise and The Bachelorette. (He was kicked off of Paradise following one too many aggressive, alcohol-fueled confrontations, including a final showdown with host Chris Harrison.) "The producers always knew that I was never going to hurt anyone, and the reason I was actually sent off was because one of the cast members told them I actually did take a swing at him," he explained. "So they are very cautious with things, I do know that. But for them to actually shut down the entire show, I feel like something actually really major must've happened."
While Johnson is confident that the series won't be cancelled altogether, he does believe that "there's definitely going to have to be some changes made," including the producers' hands off approach and refusal to intervene when things get out of hand. "Like, for instance, they literally will not stop anything. I would think that if something really bad happened, they would stop it. But I think they're going to have to draw the line somewhere. Like even with me, they didn't tell me to do anything, but it would've been nice at one point if, you know, someone said, like, 'Your bed's this way. Maybe you take a nap.' You know what I mean?"
He also accuses the producers of indirectly encouraging the constant drinking by creating a party atmosphere. "Like I said, they don't push it. But it's definitely like when you're in a party scenario, and the people producing the show are also your friends, and even they're drinking a little bit, you loosen up a little bit. And so you... forget to realize, 'Oh, 10 million people are about to see what is going to happen.'"