Amid the ongoing investigation of misconduct that allegedly occurred on the set of "Bachelor in Paradise" between Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, show alum Evan Bass spoke out Saturday in an effort to encourage ABC to not cancel the popular show. His letter was featured on the Hollywood Reporter's website.
Last year, Bass met and got engaged to fiancee Carly Waddell during the show's third season. He shared the rules for alcohol on set and how consent should be handled both on and off camera.
"When the news about Paradise production broke the internet, it also broke my heart," Bass wrote as a part of a guest column on THR's website. "While to some it’s a silly TV show, for me, it was an experience that changed my life in unimaginable ways."
Although Bass appears grateful for taking part in a show that introduced him to his future wife, he is still "disturbed" by how the production staff is being portrayed in the media.
"I’ve talked with several cast members who were on-site, and from their perspectives, this was not anywhere close to what’s being portrayed in the media," he continued. "The overwhelming theme from the cast is that although these allegations should be taken seriously, the actual events have been blown way out of proportion and that 'consent' was not an issue that day or in the days following."
Bass shared that the cast members aren't angry with Olympios, but they're disappointed with the "newbie producers" that escalated into a situation that generated media attention. He also touches on the issue of alcohol consumption on all "Bachelor" shows and it's overall role.
"It’s very, very clear that, as contestants, our actions and words are our responsibility, including alcohol consumption. But in reality, the producers are always there to help when things get fuzzy," he added. "It’s common knowledge that there is alcohol on the show. But what I want people to know is that my friends and I were never once prodded or forced to drink alcohol."
Bass also felt it was essential to hit on the importance of consent and how Jackson comes into play.
"I just don’t believe that he [Jackson] thought he was hurting Corinne or that he knew she wasn’t able to give consent. But that’s where all men can learn," Bass concluded. "Getting approval not just once but multiple times is the right thing and should become our society's norm. We must learn to go above and beyond to make sure people feel safe. And I think the show is doing that by shutting down production."
As more details surface from Warner Bros. and ABC's investigation of the incident that reportedly happened between Olympios and Jackson on BIP's set, here is a roundup of everything worth knowing about the alleged misconduct.
The Details Of The Misconduct
Although the story of the alleged sexual encounter continues to change, the main gist of details of the scenario is what follows.
On the first day of filming, TMZ notes Jackson and Olympios had reportedly spent time together in the pool with both parties under the influence while the production crew continued to shoot.
Since a crew member reported the situation after feeling "uncomfortable" about the incident, Warner Bros. and ABC were forced to shut down production abd begin an investigation of the alleged misconduct. Ultimately, all cast members were sent home.
Olympios And Jackson Hire Lawyers
Olympios told TMZ Wednesday that she has hired top Hollywood lawyer, Marty Singer. According to Vanity Fair, Singer has a client roster that includes some of the biggest names in Hollywood, like Katy Perry and Bruce Willis.
"As a woman, this is my worst nightmare and it has now become my reality," Olympios told TMZ. "As I pursue the details and facts surrounding that night and the immediate days after, I have retained a group of professionals to ensure that what happened on June 4 comes to light and I can continue my life, including hiring an attorney to obtain justice and seeking therapy to begin dealing with the physical and emotional trauma stemming from that evening."
Jackson has also sought legal counsel.
"It's unfortunate that my character and family name has been assassinated this past week with false claims and malicious allegations," Jackson told E! on Wednesday. "I will be taking swift and appropriate legal action until my name is cleared and, per the advice of legal counsel, will be seeking all available remedies entitled to me under the laws."
On Friday, Jackson's lawyer Walter Mosley spoke to Variety in defense of his client.
"As a lawyer, oftentimes, you’re in a case where it’s a he-said-she-said and there are parties with conflicting stories, and every once in a while, you’re gifted with a story that the entire thing is caught on camera," Mosley told Variety. "This is one of those rare occasions because they were shooting a reality television show...as a lawyer, it’s like Christmas."
Fellow BIP Contestant Defends Jackson
Jasmine Goode, a fellow contestant on the show's fourth season and friend to Jackson, came to his defense as she spoke to DailyMail.com about what had happened that night.
"I was taken back with Corinne's statement that she's the victim. That may be the role she plays on the show, but it's a role," Goode told DailyMail.com on Friday. "I don't believe she was a victim or traumatized. The statement she released doesn't even sound like her. It sounds like someone wrote it for her."
Goode went on to discuss what had happened on set the following day, claiming Olympios appeared to be "having a good time."
"Not once did she complain or say she was upset with what happened in the pool with DeMario. She was laughing, having a good time," she added. "Even the day after, she was hanging out with DeMario and some other people in the hot tub. I honestly thought they were going to become a couple."
Chris Harrison Released A Statement
Chris Harrison, the host of all "Bachelor"-related programming, addressed the alleged misconduct Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America." In giving his statement, he apologized to fans. However, he also wanted to discuss "all the rumors and misinformation being put out there."
"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," Harrison said. "Out of respect to all involved, there's only so much I can and will say at this time. Normally with a situation like this, I would not say anything until the incident is fully resolved, but with all the rumors and misinformation being put out there I don't find that to be possible anymore."