Blind justice? Jeremy Hartwell filed a lawsuit against the Netflix reality dating show Love Is Blind after appearing on the show’s second season, which premiered in February.
“They intentionally underpaid the cast members, deprived them of food, water and sleep, plied them with booze and cut off their access to personal contacts and most of the outside world. This made cast members hungry for social connections and altered their emotions and decision-making,” Hartwell’s attorney, Chantal Payton of Payton Employment Law, PC, of Los Angeles, claimed in a statement on Wednesday, July 13.
In court documents obtained by Us Weekly, Hartwell alleges that the Love Is Blind cast was only regularly provided with “alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, energy drinks and mixers” and that “hydrating drinks such as water were strictly limited to the cast during the day.”
The lawsuit, which serves as “a proposed class action on behalf of all participants in Love Is Blind and other non-scripted productions,” includes claims of “inhumane working conditions” and alleges that cast members were paid less than minimum wage for the number of hours worked.
In February, 10 days after season 2 of the Netflix series premiered, Hartwell shared on Instagram what he described as “an excerpt from my journal after returning from the [Love Is Blind] pods.” The diary entry describes the experience of the show as “surreal and somewhat disconnected, as if I were caught in the current of a river that suddenly arose around me.”
In the caption, the reality TV alum wrote, “Filming for Love Is Blind was one of the most intense and memorable events of my life and thanks to journaling and reflection, it remains an experience that I’m at peace with, regardless of the ups and downs.”
The Chicago resident also commented on the fact that he wasn’t featured much at all on the series. “Love Is Blind premiered and I’ve been reflecting a little bit on what that’s meant to me, having gone through that whole experiment and then it being pretty anticlimactic with sort of the edits they gave me, the 30 seconds I had, and what that means to me,” he said via his Instagram Story in February. Hartwell added that he was going to do some journaling to reflect on how he felt about the situation.
In a subsequent Story, Hartwell said that he had “no regrets” about not being in the main cast that went on to get engaged and have weddings. He reminded his followers that all 18 Love Is Blind alums who didn’t progress past had the pods “had an incredibly rich experience.”
Scroll through for everything to know about Hartwell amid the lawsuit: