Production on Bachelor in Paradise was suspended and the cast returned to the United States after two contestants had sex even though one of them may not have been able to consent because she was too drunk. In other words, it may have involved a form of sexual assault, though legal definitions vary depending upon the particular jurisdiction.
That’s according to People magazine, which quotes “a source within the show” who speaks so carefully it seems like it might as well have been an official statement:
“The show absolutely values the primacy of consent, and this instance it appears as though conduct allegedly occurred without the proper consent having been given.”
Considering this involves a possible sexual assault, I have removed cast members’ names from my previous story, though other media organizations are naming both contestants involved.
That “conduct” was filmed by crew members who did nothing to stop it. The mere possibility that members of a production wouldn’t be bothered enough by what they were seeing to intervene, and instead kept filming, is grotesque.
Update, 2:45 p.m.: TMZ reports that a female contestant, who the site names, “was in a blackout state when she got sexual […] and she blames producers for not pulling the plug and protecting her” and “says she remembers nothing,” while “Production sources insist other cast members did not complain to anyone that” the person “was too drunk to form an intent to have sexual contact.”
Earlier, TMZ reported graphic details of the encounter, which included oral and manual stimulation, though was clear that this was from the perspective of one contestant. Entertainment Tonight cites a “source” who said:
“Everyone is just going about their business. Cameras are rolling. Producers are everywhere. That’s when a ‘third party’ felt uncomfortable, claiming misconduct in the workplace. As of right now, production of Paradise is suspended indefinitely. And they are sending everyone home and telling everyone else to stay home.”
One contestant, Robby Hayes, tweeted, “What happens in paradise, stays in paradise,” which is a particularly awful response if what did occur was non-consensual sex. He added a “no comment” hashtag.
And should anyone in your life or Bachelor Nation need a refresher about consent, this illustrates it well:
Correction: I have edited the headline of this story to indicate that this was possible sexual assault, because the previous phrase, “non-consensual sex,” is the same thing as sexual assault. My attempt was to be more precise about what happened, but I inadvertently used a phrase that suggested sex with consent would be something other than assault. It is clearly sexual assault, and I apologize for the poor choice of words in the initial headline.