Chris Harrison Thinks 'Bachelor In Paradise' Handled The Scandal Well, But Fans Still Weren't Given The Whole Story
After months of speculation, rumors, and teasers, Bachelor in Paradise finally addressed the allegations of misconduct that led to a two-week production shutdown and caused a media firestorm. Bachelor in Paradise host Chris Harrison sat down with the remaining cast members in a filmed discussion regarding the allegations involving cast members Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson. Both parties have been cleared of any wrongdoing by an investigation conducted on behalf of Warner Bros. and through an investigation conducted by Olympios' lawyer. Though the decision to air this conversation hinted at the show's desire for transparency, fans were disappointed at the lack of clear information given about the events that occurred. But despite criticism, Harrison thinks the Bachelor in Paradise discussion was necessary in order to move forward with the show.
"We knew we had to have a serious conversation before we could go back to Paradise," said Harrison in an interview with Variety. "I think it would have been irresponsible and silly for us not to." The conversation addressed serious social issues not usually aired on a show known more for sunset dates on the beach than for frank discussions about race and consent.
But for Harrison, these difficult topics needed to be discussed in order to be able to move ahead with filming. "It was such an unknown and such an extraordinary situation. There were subjects that needed to be discussed. Like Corinne and DeMario … Had anyone talked to them? What was the feeling? Was anybody taking sides? How do we handle this?" Harrison explained.
Yet many fans still felt as though discussing the abstract issues involved in the situation glossed over the details that led to allegations of misconduct and left some viewers confused, perhaps because they hadn't followed the story online. Though Harrison confirmed at the outset of the filmed conversation that all parties had been cleared of any wrongdoing, no further details were given regarding the nature of the event that spawned the initial complaint from a Bachelor in Paradise producer. Fans were quick to call for more details to be given:
Harrison stands by the decision not to reveal the full details of the alleged misconduct. "All of [the incident] was on tape. All of it was agreed upon — and I think in everyone’s best interest — that we didn’t show it," Harrison shared with Variety. "There was nothing to be gained from showing it. I stand behind that decision 100%. I think we will show enough for everyone to form their opinion."
Interviews taped with Olympios and Jackson will air during the second and third weeks of the show, according to Vulture. Hopefully, this will present the world with more information regarding the alleged misconduct, and allow Olympios and Jackson to share what happened in their own words. It might have been helpful if these aired before the other episodes, though, so fans wouldn't have to be left to "form their opinion."
"You will see both Corinne and DeMario get the opportunity to separately sit down with me and give their sides of the story," Harrison told Variety. "I told them: This is your chance to say whatever you want … no holds barred… go. This is your forum," said Harrison.
In the meantime, Harrison feels fans should stop speculating about what happened in Paradise. "All you can do is ask for people’s patience. In this day and age, things are decided in minutes... It was incredible to me the things that were said out loud about Corinne, about DeMario, about the show that were so outlandish, so false, and completely fabricated. There are people’s lives in the balance that could have easily been destroyed."
The thing is, when fans don't have the full story, sometimes they do try to fill in the blanks. Olympios and Jackson's interviews airing might be what it takes to stop that from happening.