To those who watch Bachelor in Paradise, it is no secret that the set for this reality television show is basically an open bar for all the contestants. Cast members are constantly seen with a glass in their hands. The excessive drinking seems to be encouraged by producers, perhaps to feed the drama. For those who have never seen it, Bachelor in Paradise follows previous Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants in a remote—paradise—location. Hooking up or having relationships with various contestants is the main goal. Each week, someone leaves, and each week, someone new arrives.
Sound messy? It is.
It is not a surprise that Bachelor in Paradise is making headlines for disturbing allegations of sexual assault on set. Corrine Olympious, a contestant from Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor, and Demario Jackson, a contestant from Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette, have been at the center of these allegations. Olympios was known for being promiscuous, bubbly, and loud to gain Nick’s attention. Jackson was quickly kicked off of Rachel’s season after it was revealed that he had a girlfriend at the time of taping. Both contestants were highly controversial characters on their seasons, but it all seemed to be an act.
Unfortunately this was not the case in this situation. After a night of drinking and flirting, Jackson and Olympios allegedly began hooking up in a hot tub, in spite of being highly intoxicated. Olympios was in no position to give consent, and was allegedly sexually assaulted, and producers did nothing to stop it. Only at the report of a field producer was anything done—and this was after the incident happened. None of the other crew members stepped in while the actions of the sexual assault were occurring.
Thankfully, the producers halted production after this was reported but too often in our own lives, we see scenes like this play out. At a college party, after a night at the bar, at a party with friends and family:
the bystander effect runs rampant
. The reports that those on set did not step in when they knew that Olympios had been drinking heavily, and that Jackson was not completely sober either, is unacceptable and shameful to The Bachelor brand. The attention it has been getting provides us with an important reminder that these situations go unnoticed or ignored and it is time to put an end to it. We are all responsible for each other’s well-being and safety, whether best friends or strangers.
If you see someone who needs help, help them. We will all be better for it.