This season of "Bachelor in Paradise" has been mired in controversy ever since production was halted midway through filming due to accusations of misconduct pertaining to a sexual encounter between two castmates who may have been too intoxicated to properly consent. Warner Bros. launched an investigation into the situation and ultimately found no wrongdoing.
Now, as the season finally begins airing, many have been upset with the way the show is handling the scandal.
According to CNN, advertisements had teased the show going deep into the subject of the controversy, but did little in reality to address the complicated situation. Teasers continued throughout the show, and only short bits of the event in which the two contestants in question, Demario Jackson and Corinne Olympios, were seen cavorting were aired.
The episode concluded with Jackson and Olympios being called by producers and fellow cast members reacting confusedly. The substance of the controversy remained largely undiscussed.
This prompted angered reactions from viewers, some of whom expected the situation to be treated with a modicum of tact and seriousness.
"It was important to show that anything that was alleged that happened didn’t happen," ABC's reality chief Robert Mills had told The Hollywood Reporter. "We are in no way trying to hide anything."
"What you will see is what led up to that, and that, to me, is the most important thing," added host, Chris Harrison. You need to form an opinion on: What was the mood and the state of everybody? And what was the general feeling going on for everyone in 'Paradise' at the time? I think you’re going to have a great look and great insight into what was happening, so you can form your own opinion of everybody and of the whole incident."
"This show has always pushed social topics and issues," he continued, "and this is just another one that we needed to push and talk about. Whether it was racial stuff last season with Rachel [on 'The Bachelorette'], or whether its consent with 'Paradise,' there are topics that come up where you have to have honest, sometimes emotional and sometimes ugly and messy conversations about them."
Misdirection through misleading promos has been one of the franchise's calling cards. The show will continue tonight with a two-hour special episode.
The season continues to be advertised as "the most shocking, and yes, the most dramatic season ever."
[Photo: Corinne Olympios by Getty Images, DeMario Jackson via YouTube]