Production has stopped while a “thorough investigation” is conducted.
The fourth season of ABC’s The Bachelor spinoff Bachelor in Paradise has been suspended — if not outright canceled — due to an ongoing investigation into possible “misconduct” during filming in Mexico.
Details are scarce and have been coming out in fits and starts since Warner Bros. (the show’s production studio) released a statement on June 10 saying that it’s “conducting a thorough investigation,” and “will take appropriate responsive action” once done.
Shutting down filming is a drastic action for any TV show to take. And in this case, production was stopped less than a week after ABC, which airs Bachelor in Paradise and the rest of the Bachelor franchise, first announced the season’s cast — so the interest in what could’ve caused the stoppage has been especially high. Any further details beyond what’s in Warner Bros.’ statement have only been released through anonymous sources, but a disturbing bigger picture is starting to form. Here’s what we know so far.
The investigation reportedly concerns a sexual encounter between two contestants that may not have been consensual
Bachelor in Paradise is meant to be the looser cousin of The Bachelor, ditching the pretense of a storybook romance in favor of a spring break vibe. The series throws together a group of former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants in a tropical location in the name of giving them “a second chance at love” (but more likely, drama and salacious hookups).
The fourth season was filming in Mexico when the alleged incident took place. Though Warner Bros.’ official statement didn’t include specifics, reporters and online sleuths have begun piecing together the details — none of which have been publicly confirmed by anyone related to the show as of this writing.
On June 11, the LA Times’s Amy Kaufman reported on Twitter, via an unnamed Bachelor source, that the incident stemmed from two contestants getting “extremely drunk” on the first day of filming and then going to the pool, “where they got naked,” at which point their encounter “turned into ‘soft core porn.’” According to Kaufman’s source, a producer who witnessed the interaction not only didn’t show up to work the next day but sued the Bachelor in Paradise production itself for misconduct.
Meanwhile, Bachelor expert Reality Steve (nickname his) reported that season four “has been cancelled. They’re done. Everyone’s being sent home.”
This seemed to be confirmed when Reality Steve followed up by tweeting a picture a Bachelor in Paradise fan took with some cast members at the Puerto Vallarta airport, signaling that the cast had been let go from the Bachelor in Paradise set.
Here’s most of the cast at the airport an hour ago. Being told they’re being flown to Houston. Still don’t know what’s going on pic.twitter.com/eNgGp0tyZ1
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) June 11, 2017
While at first the identity of the contestants in question wasn’t revealed, People reported on the morning of June 12 that DeMario Jackson was the subject of the investigation, with sources saying that a female contestant was alleging that she was too drunk to consent — and that other contestants said as much to crew members, who allegedly took no action.
Later that afternoon, People published an interview with an anonymous contestant who said the cast knew “something bad had happened” when they were placed on “lockdown mode,” which in reality TV speak means that “the contestants aren’t allowed to speak to each other and are constantly monitored by production.”
According to TMZ, which interviewed “sources connected” to Jackson, producers told Jackson they had seen the footage and were “uncomfortable” with what had happened. Soon thereafter, TMZ reported again through sources connected to the female contestant that she remembers nothing and, again, that the crew didn’t listen to contestants who alerted them to her state.
As you can see, the situation has rapidly become even more complicated than the vague Warner Bros. statement first suggested. We’ll update this post as more information comes in.