‘A lot of misinformation out there’
Bachelor host Chris Harrison has addressed the turmoil swirling behind the scenes of ABC’s latest season of Bachelor in Paradise, which suspended production after allegations of misconduct surfaced over the weekend.
Harrison confirmed that production had been suspended, and admitted, “Normally with a situation like this I would not say anything until the incident is fully resolved, but with all the rumors and misinformation being put out there I don’t find that to be possible anymore.”
Production studio Warner Bros. Television released a statement Monday that they are “conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations. Once the investigation is complete, we will take appropriate responsive action,” with the fate of the series still up in the air. Because the incident took place during production and before the show made it to air, ABC declined to comment on the investigation and referred inquiries to Warner Bros.
In his own statement, Harrison urged fans to be patient and wait for the results of the investigation to be established, warning, “There are a lot of competing details in the various press accounts of the incident. And there’s a lot of misinformation out there too. We urge everyone to be patient until the investigation is complete. I know in this day and age we want and even expect immediate answers but in this case it’s just not possible.”
Reports about what allegedly went down on location in Mexico began to trickle out over the weekend, but have yet to be confirmed by Warner Bros. According to People, “two sources confirmed production was suspended after a producer raised concerns about an alleged sexual encounter between contestant DeMario Jackson and a female cast mate, both of whom had reportedly been drinking heavily all day.” People noted that no charges have yet been filed in the incident.
According to TMZ, production on the series was suspended “because a field producer filed a complaint that Corinne Olympios seemed so drunk the first day of filming she had no ability to consent to DeMario Jackson’s sexual moves in a swimming pool, and producers nonetheless let it play out on film.”
A source seemed to corroborate this version of events with ET Online, telling the outlet, “DeMario was in the pool. Next thing you know, Corinne comes over and hops on his lap. They start talking and joking.” After that, the source says, things escalated quickly between the pair. “Everyone is just going about their business. Cameras are rolling. Producers are everywhere. That’s when a ‘third party’ felt uncomfortable, claiming misconduct in the workplace.”
According to the LA Times, “a producer who witnessed what reportedly went down in the pool between the two didn’t show up for work the next day and then filed a third-party complaint to Warner Bros., alleging workplace misconduct.”
After that, an unnamed contestant told People that the rest of the contestants were placed on lockdown and prevented from speaking to each other about the incident: “We were told to stay in a certain part of the [resort] while they figured out what the hell had happened. We knew something bad had happened; there was a dark energy that came around the house. You have to understand that we weren’t even there a week. The game hadn’t even really begun yet.”
According to People, the contestants were told that production was unlikely to resume, at least this season. “[The producer] was like, ‘I don’t think that’s realistic,’” the contestant said. “She said that there was an investigation going on, and that could take days, weeks or even months. And by that time, we all have lives and jobs and things to go back to, so it just wasn’t going to work out. They told us that we’d be considered for future seasons and opportunities in the franchise, but that this adventure was probably over.”
Read Harrison’s full statement below:
By now no doubt you have heard that we have suspended production on this season’s Bachelor in Paradise. I can confirm to you that this is sadly the case. Out of respect to all involved, there’s only so much I can and will say at this time. Normally with a situation like this I would not say anything until the incident is fully resolved, but with all the rumors and misinformation being put out there I don’t find that to be possible anymore.
Let me start by saying the safety and care of the cast and crew of our show is of the utmost importance to us. It is with this thought in mind that we made the decision to suspend filming. An investigation into the situation was started immediately. Warner Bros. is handling the details of that investigation. They’re moving quickly to gather all the facts, and once that’s done a clear concise decision can be made about where we go from here.
There are a lot of competing details in the various press accounts of the incident. And there’s a lot of misinformation out there too. We urge everyone to be patient until the investigation is complete.
I know in this day and age we want and even expect immediate answers but in this case it’s just not possible. So again I urge you to please be patient and respect the privacy of the parties involved. I will keep you as informed and up to date as I possibly can.
We’re sorry for any inconvenience and disappointment this may have caused the cast, the crew and our loyal fans. It is my sincere hope that we can come to a quick resolution on this and get back to work very soon.