Is Bachelor In Paradise's Controversy Worse Than We Think?

bachelor in paradise demario jackson

Reality TV wouldn't exist without the heightened drama that has been forced into shows from The Real World to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but things always get way more intriguing when the controversies bleed over to the actual real world. ABC and Warner Bros. have indefinitely pulled the plug on the "all-star" unscripted spinoff Bachelor In Paradise following reports of misconduct, and most early reports are saying it involves a drunken hook-up between two contestants. But is there something more to this story?

As a quick refresher, the production was entirely shut down in the past week for Season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise, under the official word that an in-house investigation was taking place concerning alleged misconduct. While not all of the facts have surfaced, the bare bones story appears to be that two of The Bachelor franchise's most recent villains, DeMario Jackson and Corrine Olympios, were completely hammered and getting handsy in a hot tub. The cameras allegedly rolled while oral sex was performed on Corinne, and this is the moment that caused one producer to bring in other execs, with "consent" as the issue, and the whistleblowing not only prompted the shut-down in production, but it also prompted rumors that the show is finished for good.

For anyone who has watched the previous seasons of Bachelor in Paradise, the concept of contestants getting shitfaced and having sex is as strange as characters sitting in the sun and looking attractive . And that's including all the things that get captured on camera. In fact, EW spoke with Season 3 contestant Ryan Beckett (from The Bachelorette Season 11), who laid it out in plain terms.

It's not unprecedented that people would get drunk and hook up on the show --- it happens all the time. . . . People drink like they were in college or on a cruise. They go out and they drink more because they don't have to drive, they're on vacation. I think people indulge more a lot more than they normally would. We'd just go up to the bar and order a margarita or whatever. So it was always available, but it definitely was never forced on us.

And to be sure, Ryan Beckett followed that up by saying in his experience, no one on the show -- such as producers and whatnot -- seemed to be pushing for specific contestants to have sex with one another. In his case, the influence from crew members was more to provide a lot of confidence and assuredness, presumably with the intention of getting cast members to get together naturally. Or, as Beckett put it: "leading a horse to water." His experience obviously can't be tacked onto everyone else, and it's more than possible that male and female contestants are treated differently, but the main point is that Bachelor In Paradise allows for drunken sex.

If the reports coming from the contestants and other sources are to be believed, then there wasn't necessarily anything too eye-opening that happened after the incident went down, either. TMZ stated that DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios were friendly and talking the next day, which didn't imply any bad blood had formed between them. (Not proof of anything one way of the other, of course.) And the anonymous contestant(s) that spoke with EW mostly just talked about how the producers sanctioned them off and then sent them home, and all apparently without getting too talkative about what the deal was.

So what is the deal? Bachelor In Paradise is not a show that sticks to the truth in order to get ratings, so the fact that there's basically just radio silence coming from official sources is definitely more troublesome than if a sex scandal story was being spread for publicity's sake. And if publicity was the case, ABC and Warner Bros. wouldn't have sent the entire cast back home to their regular lives already, weeks before filming was supposed to wrap.

No doubt more details will be released soon concerning the present and future of Bachelor in Paradise, and for now, we'll just hope that all parties involved are healthy and happy. While waiting, though, check out our summer TV schedule to see what else is hitting the small screen soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.