Bachelorette will deal with contestant’s death “delicately,” “respectfully”

The Bachelorette host Chris Harrison said the show’s producers are “not 100 percent sure” how to deal on-screen with the death of contestant Eric Hill last month.

Hill died in a paragliding accident while production was going on, though he was not still part of the show. Producers told Andi and the remaining contestants, Chris Harrison told ABC News: “We never would have kept it from them. He was a good friend of theirs.”

Earlier, executive producer Mike Fleiss told E! News that “this transcends everything, certainly a television show.” He also said, “It’s a bizarre predicament that we never expected to be in, but our problems aren’t important. It’s about his family now. My heart goes out to them. I pray for them and my staff, they’re just wrecked.”

As to how the broadcast will deal with his death, Chris Harrison both said that “we’re not sure 100 percent of how we’re going to deal with it” and sounded like they’ve already made some decisions: “We did the best we could trying to be as honorable and decent to the family and to him. It was really something we’d never dealt with before but we did it as delicately and respectfully as we could.”

Chris Harrison told People that Eric was “a big part of the show. We all took a moment to step back and reflect and respect Eric and his family. We wanted to really take it all in and let ourselves mourn a little bit. Now that we’ve been mourning and dealing with it personally, we have to deal with it professionally.”

How exactly they’ll do that isn’t clear, but he said, “But I feel like every decision we make, will be out of respect.” He also said, “It’s something we’ve never dealt with on the show. It didn’t only affect our cast, but also our crew who worked closely with him.”

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Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.