ABC's reality dating franchise beginning with The Bachelor — and extending to spinoffs The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise — is supposed to be, at its heart, about true love and romance. As fans in Bachelor Nation can tell you, however, viewers also tune in to watch the drama unfold between contestants. Sometimes the drama takes a turn for the scary, as was the case with Chad Johnson when he headed to paradise, but thankfully Sarah Herron is the hero Bachelor in Paradise Season 3 needed.
It all started in the Bachelor in Paradise Season 3 premiere, with Chad becoming increasingly more aggressive and disrespectful toward the female contestants on the show as the first night progressed, including (but not limited to) his short-lived flirtation with Lace Morris. After calling Lace some extremely terrible names — all within earshot of the fellow cast members — Sarah stepped in and stood up to Chad on behalf of Lace as well as all the other women on the show (and, if I'm being honest, all of us watching from home who have dealt with men as disrespectful as Chad). In her interview with producers, she said, “I didn’t come to paradise to be surrounded by drunk, aggressive, abusive, jerks.”
But Sarah wasn't afraid to stand up to Chad in person. She called him out by saying, "The way you’re talking about women is so disrespectful, I want nothing to do with it. Nothing." (Plus, she got an assist from Carly Waddell, who clapped her agreement of Sarah's statement.) And, when Chad tried to deflect Sarah's criticism by saying it was "hilarious," she responded, "No, it’s not hilarious. It’s really not." Then, when Chad took it a step further (which was probably about three steps too far), Sarah stated that she thought he should leave — and if he didn't, then she would.
Now, let's talk about this interaction because I'm still in awe of Sarah's ability to stay calm while talking to a man that she describes as "aggressive" and "abusive." She keeps a level head while confronting Chad about his behavior and even after she's been justifiably rattled by him, she makes the decision to take herself out of a toxic environment if the source of the toxicity won't leave on his own. It took strength for Sarah to stand up to Chad, to tell him flat out that his behavior wasn't acceptable, and just as much strength to choose to remove herself from the situation.
Since the episode of Bachelor in Paradise aired, Chad has taken to Twitter to apologize for his actions directed at Sarah. In a video he posted, he said, "I apologize, I said something I shouldn’t have said. I did make a mistake." Sarah responded to Chad's apology by asking him to make a donation to her nonprofit organization, SheLift, which empowers young girls of all body types, though especially girls with physical disabilities.
So, Sarah stepping in with Chad and calling him out for the way he acted felt like she was giving voice to my concerns and saying what needed to be said. That's why Sarah is the hero Bachelor in Paradise deserves, and the one it needs right now.
Images: Rick Rowell/ABC