Addressing the drama. Chris Harrison gave the contestants a refresher on consent on the Tuesday, August 15, episode of Bachelor in Paradise after the production shutdown because of alleged misconduct between Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson.
As previously reported, the cast was sent home after just a few days in Paradise and Warner Bros. conducted an investigation. The production company ultimately found no evidence of misconduct by any party. However, before production could officially resume, Harrison, 46, had a serious talk with the season 4 cast (minus Olympios and Jackson).
“Warner Bros. hired an outside firm to look into everything that supposedly happened here. They looked at all the footage, sent people to interview all of you and our staff. They concluded that there was no evidence of misconduct by cast on this set,” Harrison said. “Do you trust that conclusion?"
The cast seemed to be in agreement that they didn’t feel any misconduct occurred. “I think we all knew that,” Alexis Waters said. Diggy Moreland noted that he feels bad for Jackson because every time he applies for a job, his prospective employers will see millions of articles about the incident, while others pointed out that Olympios was wrongfully slut-shamed.
The contestants also questioned Olympios’ use of the word “victim” in a statement. “She wanted to try and save face,” Danielle Maltby said.
During the sit-down, Harrison brought up the issue of race and asked if the cast felt it played a part in the allegations. After some hesitation, the cast agreed that it did. Raven Gates chimed in that being from Arkansas, she sometimes sees the stereotype that “seeing a black man with a woman is wrong. What happened wasn’t wrong. So I was super empathetic with DeMario. Not only is consent important, but it’s also important to get rid of the stigma that interracial couples can’t be or blaming African-American men for crimes they didn’t commit.” She also added that she took the issue personally because she was sexually assaulted in the past.
The longtime Bachelor Nation host then went through some questions of consent with the cast. “If somebody is passed out, unresponsive, can they give consent?” Harrison asked. The group all responded with a resounding no.
“If someone is drunk, can you give consent?” Harrison asked. The season 4 cast replied that it depends on the situation. “The question comes to: Would you have given the same consent if you were sober?” Moreland said. “Alcohol clouds your judgment, but you can give consent.”
Ben Zorn noted that it’s important to think about consent throughout a sexual encounter. “Just because someone brings up consent in the beginning, doesn’t mean that they can’t have the right to say no at any point,” he said. "So, consent needs to be throughout everything."
The cast then all pledged to keep consent in mind going forward. “With the power vested in me, I now declare Bachelor in Paradise back open,” Harrison said.
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