In the days leading up to the suspension of production of “Bachelor in Paradise,” most of the cast was left in the dark as to what was going on, even as the atmosphere around them became more chaotic and they were moved from one location to another, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNNMoney on Tuesday.
“Overall everyone is really upset. People put their lives on hold, quit their jobs and are even losing jobs over this,” the source said. “No one knows exactly what happened… and there’s a lot of confusion and anger because some contestants feel like this is all being blown out of proportion.”
Now, there’s a question as to whether “Bachelor in Paradise,” a summer spinoff of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” in which contestants from those shows vie for another chance at romance, will ever return to the air.
Warner Bros., the production company behind the show, has not released details of exactly what happened. But in a statement Monday, it said, “We have become aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ in Mexico. We have suspended production and we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations. Once the investigation is complete, we will take appropriate responsive action.” (Warner Bros. is owned by Time Warner, which is also the parent company of CNN.)
The source with knowledge of the situation told CNNMoney that a male and female contestant were filmed engaging in sexual acts on the first day of production in Sayulita, Mexico. (CNNMoney is choosing not to identify the people involved in the encounter because its unclear if it involves sexual assault.)
For the next two days production continued. The source said “there was no indication” there had been an incident of alleged sexual misconduct.
“The next day [the male and female contestants involved in the encounter] were talking and seemed friendly with each other. The only odd part was that producers were not allowing [the female contestant] to drink, and she seemed really frustrated by that,” the source said.
By day three production had been halted. The cast remained on set without the cameras present, and the male and female contestants involved in the incident had “mysteriously” disappeared from the set, the source said.
The contestants sat around and discussed over the next three days what had happened, and then they were moved off site to a hotel for two days before being sent home. The cast was told that there had been a “third party complaint” as explanation for why production had been halted, according to the source.
The “Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor In Paradise” franchise has at times been criticized for the actions of contestants who become intimate as part of their quest for romance.
“It’s very clear [in the contract] that you have zero expectation of privacy and there are recording devices anywhere and everywhere. There’s no caveat that says they won’t film certain things,” the source said. “You also relinquish your rights to be portrayed negatively.”
“Bachelor” franchise host Chris Harrison released a statement about the controversy on Tuesday.
“Let me start by saying the safety and care of the cast and crew of our show is of the utmost importance to us. It is with this thought in mind that we made the decision to suspend filming. An investigation into the situation was started immediately. Warner Bros. is handling the details of that investigation. They’re moving quickly to gather all the facts, and once that’s done a clear concise decision can be made about where we go from here,” Harrison wrote.
“Bachelor in Paradise” was scheduled to return to ABC in August.
“We’re sorry for any inconvenience and disappointment this may have caused the cast, the crew and our loyal fans. It is my sincere hope that we can come to a quick resolution on this and get back to work very soon,”