After allegations of sexual misconduct briefly halted filming of Bachelor in Paradise's fourth season, policies were changed that affected every part of The Bachelor franchise. For years, there had been rumors that the cast of the romantic reality show had been plied with liquor to enhance drama, but host Chris Harrison shut them down. He shed light on what really goes on behind-the-scenes when it comes to alcohol consumption on the show and what steps the franchise has taken since the 2017 scandal.
The Bachelor in Paradise scandal centered around two former contestants, Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson. A producer witnessed a drunken sexual act between the two take place on camera and decided to halt production. An internal investigation took place to determine whether there was an issue of consent that soon came to the conclusion that there was no misconduct. Still, both Olympios and Jackson exited the show.
Olympios later told People that she was experiencing a "severe black-out" during the encounter due to mixing alcohol with medication she was on. "I drank a little too much when I was on medication," she recalled. "I shouldn't have been drinking that much and mixing different alcohols. The only regret I have is letting myself drink too much — that's it." Though the situation was cleared by internal investigators, changes soon took place to make sure such an incident couldn't happen again.
Shortly after news of the controversy broke, Harrison spoke with The Hollywood Reporter, clearing the air about certain rumors about how The Bachelor and its spin-offs were run. "That's a big misconception of the show — that we push it [alcohol], and that we need it and we want it," Harrison told the outlet. "But that really doesn't help us. Someone being sloppy drunk and being out of it does not give us good television." As a matter of fact, showrunners preferred for contestants to be "of their right mind and give us a better story to show." Though changes had been made to the policies of the show, Harrison insisted that they weren't the "earth-shattering" kind that were expected of them. "We've really learned from our mistakes, but there really weren't any major mistakes made," The Bachelor/ette host explained.
Amanda Stanton, a fellow contestant on that season of Bachelor in Paradise, revealed more details of the changes that took place after Olympios and Jackson's exit from the show. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Stanton confirmed the rumors that a two drink per hour maximum was implemented by the showrunners.
In addition, producers had to be consulted before contestants were allowed to spend the night together. "If you guys were going to go into [a private] room, you both had to [find a producer and] say that you wanted to do it, just to be extra cautious. It's kind of weird, but it makes sense," Stanton told the outlet. "They were like, 'If someone goes in the room without asking, we'll come in there and ask you,' so it's less awkward if you find them beforehand." These rules were apparently put into place to make sure both parties' consent was verified. After the troubles the show went through with the Olympios/Jackson controversy, they figured it was better to be safe than sorry.