WASHINGTON • Production on Bachelor In Paradise, the popular spin-off of ABC's The Bachelor reality franchise, was shut down over the weekend after alleged "misconduct" on set, Warner Bros has confirmed.
Bachelor In Paradise, which recently started filming its fourth season, features former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants living together in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, as they "explore new relationships" in a "secluded and dreamy paradise", as ABC describes it.
The goal is basically to stir up as much drama and feature as many hook-ups as possible, as the producers mix together villains, enemies and fan favourites from previous seasons.
It is unclear exactly what happened to shutter production, but reports from TMZ and Entertainment Tonight point to an incident in the pool between contestants Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson.
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According to Los Angeles Times reporter Amy Kaufman, who is writing a book about The Bachelor, a producer filed a complaint after witnessing the incident.
Production stopped and the entire cast was sent home, Entertainment Weekly reported.
ABC did not respond to questions about what occurred. On Sunday, Warner Bros, the studio that makes the show, released a statement: "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."
Olympios is known as last season's villain on The Bachelor and became famous for her immensely quotable lines and the fact that she was a 24-year-old with a nanny. She was one of the final four before she was eliminated by bachelor Nick Viall.
Jackson made headlines two weeks ago on The Bachelorette, when a woman claiming to be his girlfriend showed up on set.
After he could not come up with a solid explanation, bachelorette Rachel Lindsay sent him packing.
Bachelor In Paradise's fourth season was scheduled to air in August, but that seems unlikely now. Whether it will return at all is unknown.
It is rare to suspend production of a reality show and send cast members home, especially one that is part of ABC's prominent Bachelor franchise, which has enjoyed a recent hot streak.
The Bachelor was the only show on the broadcast networks that saw its ratings grow in the most recent TV season.
But this latest episode underscores how reality shows, which need high drama and characters with outsized personalities, can also wade into gravely serious territory.
While reality show producers often want to push the limits in regard to their participants' behaviour, they also live in fear of something going disastrously wrong.
On an episode of Survivor that aired on CBS last year, multiple contestants collapsed in the Cambodian heat, with one having to be taken to the hospital.
WASHINGTON POST, NYTIMES