Mondays are hard.
That’s why millions of us tune into mindless shows like Bachelor in Paradise to wash away our Monday Blues.
If you don’t know about Bachelor in Paradise, congratulations–you have lived a smut-free existence thus far. Allow me to enlighten you.
Bachelor in Paradise (or BIP for short) is a spin-off of junk TV show The Bachelor, wherein cast-offs from previous seasons of both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette go hang out in Mexico for a chance at questionable romps-in-the-ocean love.
The fourth season of BIP has officially been suspended after allegations of misconduct surrounding cast members Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson. According to sources, the two had been “drinking all day” (read: smashed AF) and “having a good time” (read: doing things they would later regret) while copious amounts of BIP production people happily let the cameras fly for the sake of ratings. However, one producer got very uncomfortable about the sexual nature of what was being filmed. Shortly thereafter, the entire season four cast was sent home.
Other contestants claimed that Olympios and Jackson were very drunk and unable to consent to what was happening–both their physical escapades and the filming of those escapades.
Part of me wants to make fun of the cast members because “they signed up for it,” but deep down I know that when people are under the influence of alcohol, they are unable to make autonomous decisions–and that includes the decision to be filmed.
ABC has definitely crossed the line. But is it possible making cast members unwilling subjects in a BIP “adult” film is considered sexual assault by a network? I’m thinking yes.
Consent is an ongoing process. It’s not a one-off. A cast member can consent to being filmed, but that consent has to be given again and again, especially regarding things of a sexual nature.
Here’s the other thing: you don’t film drunk girls taking their clothes off. You just don’t. I don’t care if they are acting foolish; if a girl is too drunk to consent to sex, she is also too drunk to consent to being filmed doing sexual things.
Just imagine if it had been a random dude with a cell phone recording the couple rather than a network. We’d all be furious.
Did Corinne and DeMario do something embarrassing? Probably.
But does ABC have the right to air it? No way.
As of now, Jackson and Olympios are on good speaking terms. No word on whether BIP will resume production for season four.