It's been two months since Bachelor in Paradise shut down production following sexual misconduct allegations, and now that Season 4 has officially kicked off, the show is making headlines again. Despite promises to give viewers the full story on what happened between Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson in June, Tuesday night's episode fell short with a cast discussion on the topic that was lacking context in many viewers' opinions. In an interview with Variety published after the episode, Chris Harrison said that impatience and bad journalism caused the scandal to be portrayed in the media the wrong way.
While talking to Variety, Harrison mentioned that there's been a lot of speculation about what may have gone down between Olympios and Jackson, and how quickly conclusions were formed after the news broke that filming had stopped. "All you can do is ask for people's patience," he said. "In this day and age, things are decided in minutes."
Harrison's not wrong about that, but asking for patience when the show still hasn't explained the full story or the one-on-one interviews with Olympios and Jackson seems unreasonable. We live in a news cycle that's constantly changing, with new information coming out around the clock. People form their opinions based on what they know at the time.
"What really astounded me was the level of incompetence — things that were said and printed by quote-unquote reputable media, and reputable print, and even TV. 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 fact that you can clearly see that journalism is dead, and long gone on every level — whether it’s the network, whether it’s print … it’s really sad. To see it firsthand it really is amazing."
But the way the incident was portrayed might be less about bad journalism and more about the nature of this story — something that couldn't be avoided. First, there was the news that filming had stopped, then, reports about (and statements from) Olympios and Jackson began to surface, and finally, it was announced that an investigation by Warner Bros. found no evidence of misconduct and that filming would resume. In between all of this, there were seemingly unending updates and interviews with other castmembers. What actually went down that night is still a mystery, even now. That's a lot for fans to sort through and not every viewer of the show is someone who also reads all of the reports.
Since all the information was never available, fans were forced to draw their own conclusions. Even now, the alleged misconduct took place and was resolved several weeks ago, and two episodes into BiP Season 4 fans are still waiting for more information that will likely become available during interviews the show is going to air with Olympios and Jackson.
Harrison talked about Olympios and Jackson sharing their sides of the story separately with him in a one-on-one setting later this season. The way the show chose to address the scandal on Tuesday night's episode — without either involved party present — was upsetting to a lot of fans, so it seems the better choice would have been to bring them on first before the rest of the cast had the chance to voice their opinions.
Everything surrounding this incident has been so confusing for fans, and Harrison's latest interview hasn't made it any easier to understand. It's possible that hearing Olympios and Jackson speak on the topic will clear a few things up, but fans can't be blamed for drawing conclusions.