Inside Bachelor in Paradise Scandal: What Role Do Producers Play with Sex, Booze and Bad Behavior? – PEOPLE.com
In the days since Warner Bros. announced that it had officially halted production of Bachelor in Paradise due to an investigation into allegations of misconduct, a spotlight has been cast on the popular reality show — prompting new focus on the role producers play.
PEOPLE sources previously confirmed season 4 production was suspended after a producer raised concerns about an alleged sexual encounter between contestant DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios, both of whom had reportedly been drinking heavily all day. Olympios and Jackson have since both retained legal representation.
On Wednesday each issued a statement, with Olympios, 24, calling herself a “victim” and Jackson, 30, claiming his character “has been assassinated.”
While the specific details of the alleged incident remain unclear, a source close to production tells PEOPLE that the investigation is still ongoing, and that includes reviewing the tapes, but the source believes the matter will be resolved within a week.
Until then, many questions persist surrounding the production team’s involvement: Do they intervene when things are going too far, or contestants are drinking too much? How involved are they with the storylines?
PEOPLE caught up with several insiders, including former contestants and a past producer of the franchise, in order to shed some light on what goes on behind the scenes in Bachelor Nation.
Alcohol & Personal Responsibility
One point widely agreed upon by all is that while alcohol is readily available and heavily consumed by many, it’s certainly not forced on the contestants by the producers. But are they encouraging certain behaviors?
“Producers aren’t forcing people to do questionable things,” insists a former producer. “There are no storylines written. The worst thing they’ll do is let people know that the people who succeed here tend to make a lot of friends, or find someone to be in a relationship with.”
And several former contestants agree.
“When I was filming any Bachelor franchise show, I was in charge of my choices — I never once felt like I couldn’t make a decision for myself, or that I was expected to do anything outside of my own will,” BiP season 2 contestant Tenley Molzahn tells PEOPLE.
“All of us cast members have a choice as to how we want to behave — how far we’ll go, how much we drink,” she says. “We sign a lot of legal paperwork acknowledging that we know we have these choices.”
How “Scripted” Are the Situations?
“The producers are there to help people interact with each other and ask questions, but in no way are they there to tell you what to do and to behave certain ways,” says season 2 contestant Daniel Maguire. “We’re all able to do and say what we want, and we’re all responsible for our own actions.”