'Bachelor in Paradise' host Chris Harrison talks show changes after controversy -- No "major mistakes" were made
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/28/2017
Bachelor in Paradise host Chris Harrison is setting the record straight on how this summer's edition will differ from seasons past in light of the controversy that briefly shut production down.
"I think publicly everyone is going to want us to come out and say, 'We've changed everything!' and that it will be earth-shattering. We've really learned from our mistakes, but there really weren't any major mistakes made," Chris told The Hollywood Reporter at The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All taping.
The show was initially scheduled to premiere on August 8, but filming was suspended in June after a producer filed a complaint alleging misconduct in regards to a public hookup between franchise villains Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson.
Since both cast members had been drinking heavily that day, consent to the sexual encounter was in question, especially when Corinne released a statement calling herself "a victim" as news of the incident circulated.
DeMario, however, insisted at the time his character was being "assassinated with false claims and malicious allegations" in light of accusations he had taken advantage of Corinne in Paradise.
Warner Bros. therefore launched an investigation when production halted for a couple of weeks and found no evidence of misconduct or sexual assault. As a result, ABC resumed taping the fourth season, with Warner Bros. revealing certain changes would be implemented to ensure the cast's safety and well-being.
"Yes, we've made some changes, but if you talk to the cast, they've always been the most important thing to us -- taking care of them and their safety," Chris told The Reporter, adding that most of the tweaks were behind-the-scenes.
"So while we're going to talk about rules and talk about certain things and have a dialogue, you're not going to notice major changes."
New rules and regulations reportedly included a two-drink per hour limit, a bag check for illegal prescription drugs and a written log of legal medications, and permission from a producer in order for a pair to have sex that is undoubtedly consensual.
"As far as alcohol goes, that's never been a big thing for us. That's a big misconception of the show -- that we push it, and that we need it and we want it," Chris explained.
"But that really doesn't help us. Someone being sloppy drunk and being out of it does not give us good television. On the contrary, we want people to be of their right mind and give us a better story for the show."
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Warner Bros. previously confirmed that footage of Corinne and DeMario's sexual encounter will not be shown on Bachelor in Paradise out of respect for the subjects; however, Chris suggested viewers will gain clarity as to how the situation unfolded.
According to The Reporter, there are several days of Corinne and DeMario footage at the producers' disposal.
"When this plays out and you see it all happening, you'll understand what I'm saying," Chris noted.
Corinne and DeMario did not return to Mexico to film Paradise when the rest of the original cast came back, but both cast members will reportedly appear on the series' reunion special later this summer. They will likely participate in sit-down interviews with Chris to discuss the sex scandal and its aftermath.