The 'Bachelor In Paradise' Producer Isn't To Blame In This Alleged Situation
You're entitled to feel however you want about the allegations, but please don't blame the producer for the Bachelor in Paradise Season 4 suspension. It's still early, so very little has been confirmed, but preliminary reports include allegations that there was a reported sexual encounter between DeMario Jackson and a female contestant during which the latter was too inebriated to consent. Multiple outlets like PEOPLE and TMZ claim that this encounter was witnessed by a producer who allegedly wanted to intervene, but was reportedly prevented from doing so. This unnamed producer has now allegedly brought a "third party complaint" against Bachelor in Paradise, according to TMZ, which is what halted production on the show. However, in response, many fans have taken to social media with variations of the question, "Where did this producer think she worked?"
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 Corinne 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:: In a statement to Bustle, Warner Bros. responded to reports, saying, "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." And, yes, there's a genuine possibility that, after the investigation, the show will not return for Season 4 — at least not on the original August premiere date. That's a real bummer for fans, there's no denying it. But whether Paradise is your favorite show, you hate it, or you don't care about it at all, the way we speak and think about this incident is really important.
The implication in the negative responses on social media is that, because this person was familiar with the conceit of the show, she should have been prepared for something like this while at work. Some people on Twitter went as far as to say that she should have kept her mouth shut. Or that, if their favorite show doesn't return this summer, it's her fault for being a prude or not keeping quiet.
We shouldn't and wouldn't speak about a victim this way, so it's confusing to me why people are speaking this way about someone who has allegedly advocated for one. I understand that people love Bachelor in Paradise, and they don't want to see it canceled. I don't either. But it's dangerous to try to dismiss or silence people for speaking up. Just because someone works in a nontraditional environment doesn't mean that they've signed away their agency or any less capable of noticing when a line has been crossed. And making these kinds of insensitive judgments about anyone — especially based on reports that have yet to be validated by anyone who actually knows the truth — is the wrong way to approach this news.
It's still not clear what's happened in this situation, and that's frustrating. All we have are allegations and unconfirmed rumors, anonymous sources and rampant speculation. But until we have a statement from any of the people actually involved in the alleged incident, the most compassionate thing we can do is to give the producer and all involved the benefit of the doubt.