Bachelor In Paradise's Consent Lesson Was Awkward, But Definitely Necessary
Season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise has been one helluva ride already, and the season has barely even begun. Fans already know some of the major drama already: The show temporarily shut down production in June to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. After Warner Bros. completed the investigation, production resumed, with the studio claiming it found no evidence to support a charge of misconduct. However, before production officially resumed, Chris Harrison sat down the cast for an awkward but necessary consent lesson on Bachelor in Paradise.
Monday and Tuesday's Bachelor in Paradise premiere attempted to shed some light on the events that transpired to shut down the show, an incident involving contestants Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson in the pool. Chris sat the cast down in Tuesday's episode for a very frank discussion of how they felt about the Corinne and DeMario situation. The cast seemed to be in agreement that they didn't feel any misconduct went down, but they agreed that there needed to be more clarity on what constitutes "consent."
The cast agreed: Saying yes at one point doesn't mean you can't say no later, and if someone is too drunk to knowingly consent, it definitely doesn't count.
Chris also brought up the issue of race, which was a particularly awkward moment. Raven chimed in that being from the South, she does see the stereotype that black men are seen as "threats" to white women. Raven also added that she herself was a victim of assault, and she hopes this issue doesn't discourage victims from coming forward.
Warner Bros reviewed the footage of the incident and released the following statement on June 20:
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.
On June 14, Jackson gave E! Online the following statement about the Bachelor in Paradise suspension and claims about his involvement:
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.
Corinne also released a statement to TMZ shortly after. She said:
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.
Even if it's awkward, it's definitely better that Bachelor in Paradise take consent seriously.