Why The Way The ‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Allegations Are Talked About Matters
On the latest episode of Bustle's Will You Accept This Podcast?, hosts Kelsea Stahler and Allison Piwowarski address the allegations that there was a sexual encounter during the filming of Bachelor In Paradise that was reportedly not consensual. What they make it clear is that while there's a lot fans still don't know about what happened that day, the allegations should not be ignored. Neither should the way people are talking about Bachelor In Paradise contestant Corinne Olympios.
Update: 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 #2: 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: 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: After the news broke on Sunday that Bachelor In Paradise had suspended production for Season 4, Warner Bros. released a statement:
"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."
Rumors circulated that the alleged incident occurred between recent Bachelorette contestant DeMario Jackson and a female contestant, who was identified as Olympios in various reports. People later reported that Olympios was allegedly drunk and may not have been able to give consent. But the way people have been talking about Olympios on social media has been problematic in many cases, with some blaming her for the alleged incident. What's more troubling, as Allison notes on the podcast, is that there have been people who have gone as far to blame Olympios for ruining their summer (since the future of Bachelor In Paradise remains unclear). In her opinion, they're "completely missing the point."
"There are so many bigger things to worry about in this scenario than your Monday and Tuesday nights," she says, adding that no one should be "shaming and victim-blaming this person who is probably going through hell right now."
On Wednesday, a rep for Olympios sent the following statement regarding the Bachelor In Paradise allegations to Bustle on behalf of the former Bachelor contestant:
"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."
In a recent video from TMZ, Jackson is seen saying "no comment" in response to numerous questions about the alleged incident. When asked if he's upset about reports alleging that Olympios did not give consent, Jackson responded, "No, no. I'm all good."
Listen to the podcast above to hear more of what Kelsea and Allison have to say about the way people are talking about the BiP allegations, and why this conversation matters more than you may think.