It’s been roughly two months since production was temporarily shut down on the set of the fourth season of the notoriously debauched Bachelor spinoff Bachelor in Paradise, and since then, a ton has happened. Allegations of sexual assault and other “misconduct” between two intoxicated contestants, DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios, swirled as both Warner Bros. and Olympios’s lawyer launched investigations into the incident. Both investigations have since closed, with Warner Bros. stating that it found no wrongdoing on Jackson’s part, and Olympios announcing that her investigation had been “completed to [her] satisfaction.” The show then resumed production roughly two weeks after the shutdown with the same cast, save for Olympios and Jackson, who opted not to return. And as the show’s August 14 premiere date nears, we’re left wondering how, exactly, Bachelor in Paradise will address the scandal and how it’s affected everyone involved.
Thankfully, a new interview with host Chris Harrison in The Hollywood Reporter gives us a pretty clear idea of how the show will address the shutdown, scandal, and subsequent resuming of filming. Here’s everything we learned from the rosemaster himself:
The actual footage of the incident in question will not air, but the events leading up to it will.
Harrison was quick to re-emphasize the previously reported news that while footage from Corinne and DeMario’s time on the show will be used in the first few episodes (Paradise filmed for three days before production was shut down), the show will not air the incident itself. “There was never a need to see the actual footage … That was never going to see the light of day.” Harrison said. “What you will see is what led up to that and that to me is the most important thing. You need to form an opinion on: What was the mood and the state of everybody? And, what was the general feeling going on for everyone in Paradise at the time?”
The show will address the scandal and the fallout chronologically.
Aside from an introduction from Harrison, which will address the controversy head-on, the season will begin normally, just as it did when filming began. “I will kind of guide you through those first few days up until the shutdown and you will see right up until that moment where we did shut down,” Harrison said. Because production wasn’t made aware of the incident until the third day of filming, Harrison says, “what you’re going to see is just a normal Paradise beginning with dates, relationships, drama, tears and all that stuff. There wasn’t this big, dramatic and crazy bombshell that dropped.”
Tuesday’s episode will focus on discussions with the cast and new rules.
While the Monday premiere will focus on the first few days of Paradise and likely end with the production shutdown, Tuesday’s episode will spend time discussing the aftermath with the cast and crew. Harrison will lead interviews and discussions with the cast about issues of consent and the production’s new rules regarding that and alcohol consumption. “It was more of a heart-to-heart and less of a ‘telling you what’s going on in the show’ talk,” Harrison said. “It was a lot of give and take and them expressing their feelings. We do deal with touchy subjects like consent. This show has always pushed social topics and issues and this is just another one that we needed to push and talk about.”
The show will feel “very much like Paradise again” by the third week…
Once the episodes covering the shutdown and subsequent restarting of filming are behind us, the show will revert to how it’s always been, for the most part, according to Harrison. However, the incident will be revisited when Olympios and Jackson return for the reunion special.
…but the production shutdown did affect some of the nascent relationships.
Since cast members had three days to form relationships in Paradise – an eternity in the constantly-supervised land of reality TV – before the shutdown, sending the cast home presented some unique challenges for the show as they were left to continue relationships off-camera for a bit more than a week. “Some relationships got stronger and survived, some completely disintegrated and there were different perspectives,” Harrison said, adding that the show will attempt to address that off-camera time. “[I]t’s going to be a very different season because obviously, we’ve never had to face such a thing before. We do our best to try to fill everyone in on what’s going on, because a lot of it is off camera.”
Harrison will serve as the guide through the bumps in the road.
Given the show’s choice to air everything before, leading up to (but not during), and after the incident in question, Harrison will likely have an even bigger role in helping viewers make sense of it all. But he’s careful to point out that he will only be introducing and providing context to events. “I will add things with stand ups about what you’re about to see and what’s going on,” he said. “And then we’re going to let the video show for itself.”