Chris Harrison Responds To The 'Bachelor In Paradise' Shutdown With A Lengthy Statement — UPDATE
Following numerous reports regarding the situation surrounding Season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise, on Tuesday, host Chris Harrison responded to the Bachelor in Paradise scandal. It's only been a couple days since the news broke, but it's felt like a long time considering how serious the situation sounds. And, now, Harrison has shared his view of the situation in a statement published by People.
Update: In a video posted by TMZ, Jackson says "no comment" in response to numerous questions about the alleged incident. Asked if he's upset about reports alleging that Olympios claims she did not give consent, Jackson responded, ""No, no. I'm all good."
Update #2: On Wednesday, June 14, Corinne Olympios' rep released a statement about the Bachelor In Paradise allegations to Bustle:
“I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened on June 4. Although I have little memory of that night, something bad obviously took place, which I understand is why production on the show has now been suspended and a producer on the show has filed a complaint against the production. As a woman, this is my worst nightmare and it has now become my reality. As I pursue the details and facts surrounding that night and the immediate days after, I have retained a group of professionals to ensure that what happened on June 4 comes to light and I can continue my life, including hiring an attorney to obtain justice and seeking therapy to begin dealing with the physical and emotional trauma stemming from that evening.”
Update #3: On the evening of Wednesday, June 14, Jackson released a statement about Olympios' allegations to E! News:
"It's unfortunate that my character and family name has been assassinated this past week with false claims and malicious allegations. I will be taking swift and appropriate legal action until my name is cleared and, per the advice of legal counsel, will be seeking all available remedies entitled to me under the laws."
Update #4: On June 20, an ABC spokesperson provided the following statement to Bustle:
“We appreciate the swift and complete investigation by Warner Bros. into allegations of misconduct on the set of ‘Bachelor in Paradise.’ Given their results, the series will resume production, and will air this summer on ABC.”
Warner Bros.' statement to Bustle read,
"As we previously stated, we recently became aware of allegations regarding an incident on the set of Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico. We take all such allegations seriously. The safety, security and well-being of the cast and crew is our number one concern, and we suspended filming so that the allegations could be investigated immediately and thoroughly. Our internal investigation, conducted with the assistance of an outside law firm, has now been completed. Out of respect for the privacy interests of those involved, we do not intend to release the videotape of the incident. We can say, however, that the tape does not support any charge of misconduct by a cast member. Nor does the tape show, contrary to many press reports, that the safety of any cast member was ever in jeopardy. Production on this season of Bachelor in Paradise will be resuming, and we plan to implement certain changes to the show’s policies and procedures to enhance and further ensure the safety and security of all participants.”
Update #5: On Tuesday, Corinne Olympios' lawyer Martin Singer released a statement to Bustle that read,
“It needs to be made crystal clear that production of 'Bachelor in Paradise' was shut down because of multiple complaints received from 'BIP' producers and crew members on the set. It was not shut down due to any complaint filed by Corinne against anyone. It comes as no surprise that Warner Bros., as a result of its own internal Investigation, would state that no wrong doing had occurred. Our own investigation will continue based on multiple new witnesses coming forward revealing what they saw and heard.”
Earlier: For those of you who haven't been following the situation, People reports that an alleged sexual encounter occurred between DeMario Jackson and a female contestant who allegedly may not have been able to give consent. TMZ reports that the female contestant was Corinne Olympios, and that sources reportedly close to her claim she was unable to give consent, but allegedly doesn't "fully blame" Jackson, who was allegedly drunk like she was. The sources also claim she feels that production should have stepped in. TMZ also reported that sources reportedly close to Jackson claim that sexual activity did occur, but these sources did not bring up consent as an issue. Reportedly, a producer filing a complaint related to the situation shut down production. Bustle has reached out to Jackson and Olympios for comment, but has not received a response.
We have become aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico. 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.
As for Harrison, People shared his lengthy statement about the incident and the production shutdown, which began,
By now, no doubt, you have heard that we have suspended production on this season’s Bachelor in Paradise. I can confirm to you that this is sadly the case. Out of respect to all involved, there’s only so much I can and will say at this time. Normally with a situation like this I would not say anything until the incident is fully resolved, but with all the rumors and misinformation being put out there, I don’t find that to be possible anymore.
With all of the speculation from media outlets, fans on social media, and even Bachelor cast members, it's perhaps unsurprising that Harrison would want to address the controversy, even if he's not actually revealing much. The statement continued:
Let me start by saying the safety and care of the cast and crew of our show is of the utmost importance to us. 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.
Considering that the cast members were flown back to the U.S., it would not be a surprise if BiP's fourth season is totally cancelled. When it comes to what "decision can be made about where go from here" means exactly, fans will have to wait until the investigation is complete to find out.
There are a lot of competing details in the various press accounts of the incident. And there’s a lot of misinformation out there too. We urge everyone to be patient until the investigation is complete. I know in this day and age we want — and even expect — immediate answers, but in this case, it’s just not possible. So again, I urge you to please be patient and respect the privacy of the parties involved. I will keep you as informed and up to date as I possibly can. We’re sorry for any inconvenience and disappointment this may have caused the cast, the crew and our loyal fans. It is my sincere hope that we can come to a quick resolution on this and get back to work very soon.
The immediate response people tend to expect has surely put even more pressure on this extremely difficult situation. It's understandable that fans would be curious about what is going on, but, as Harrison points out, patience is key during a time like this.