On Tuesday’s episode of Bachelor in Paradise, Chris Harrison reopened the beach after production had halted during the sex scandal between DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios, but he was sure to have a long and serious chat with the cast members before doing so.
“Before I can officially declare Paradise back open, I think it’s very important that we sit down and have a serious talk, all of us, about what happened, what didn’t happen, and what we all need to do to start this show together,” Harrison said.
He spoke with the members of the Season 4 cast and asked them if they accepted the findings of the outside investigation that nothing had happened between Jackson and Olympios that was wrong.
Taylor Nolan, who said during the casting that she doesn’t drink and that she has never been pressured to drink by production, said, “We’re responsible for ourselves and the things we say, how much we drink, who we kiss.”
“My biggest worry was for not only production, because I felt like they were kinda blamed,” Raven Gates added. “My worry was for DeMario and Corrine because we knew what happened, but it was so unfair the way that people were speaking about DeMario and the blame he was getting and the horrible things said to him and Corinne both — it broke my heart because I thought no matter if everything is cleared up, people are still going to associate something bad happening with Corinne and DeMario.”
In addition to the discussion of consent and responsibility for the cast members, as well as a discussion of slut-shaming and the role of physical intimacy on the show, there was also a discussion of how race played into the scandal.
“Obviously everything came out clean, but I empathize with DeMario a lot more just because I mean obviously we had a black male, white female. But he has 20-30 years of Google searches that are going to be done in his name,” Kenneth “Diggy” Moreland said. “I’m thinking of the long-term effects and I was really pissed about that.”
“I’m sensitive to it because I’m from the South and we have a stigma that we’re seeing a white woman with a black man is wrong,” Gates said. “And that night, what happened wasn’t wrong. And so I was super empathetic with DeMario because it’s just another issue. Not only is consent important, but it’s also to get rid of the stigma that interracial couples can’t be or blaming African American men for crimes they didn’t commit.”
You can check out more on the discussion on Tuesday’s episode here.