Bachelor in Paradise has struggled to handle the tone of Season 4 amidst sexual misconduct allegations that shut production down for weeks in the middle of shooting. Warner Bros. concluded, following an independent investigation, that no sexual misconduct between contestants DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios took place, so filming resumed. But now that the season is airing, we're seeing the Bachelor in Paradise cast address the shut down for the first time. Chris Harrison sat them all down for a discussion that aired during Episode 2, looking suspiciously like a high school sex ed teacher about to have a serious talk with a bunch of teens about sex and consent. And the cast had some interesting takes on the incident.
First of all, they unilaterally and unequivocally came to the defense of production. Following reports of the incident, in which two field producers came forward voicing concerns that Corinne was too drunk to consent during a sexual encounter with DeMario, production came under heavy fire for their alleged role in pumping contestants full of alcohol and coercing them into doing things they don't want to do. Taylor voiced very firmly, and was echoed by her castmates, that contestants make their own choices on the show. Drinks have to be ordered by contestants; no one hands them alcohol without asking. Taylor even revealed that she herself doesn't drink and that no one from production had ever asked her to or suggested that she drink knowing that.
The cast also believed that no sexual misconduct had taken place between Corinne and DeMario. When Chris Harrison brought up Corinne's statement released during the scandal saying she was a victim, Derek pointed out that he thought it sounded like a very "vague," "lawyered up" statement that clearly wasn't written by Corinne. Danielle M. suggested that she was trying to "save face" with the statement because she felt embarrassed. And the cast collectively felt sorry for the longterm effects this incident would have on DeMario's reputation. But Raven and the women were quick to say that they weren't interested in slut-shaming Corinne. If anything, they had empathy for the action they seem to think she was forced into taking by PR folks to protect herself from the fallout.
Finally, Chris Harrison addressed the subject of race, asking whether the cast thought the scandal was racially motivated. They agreed that it was, and voiced disappointment that DeMario was being vilified as a predatory black man for pursuing a white woman. The cast also did a quick review of best consent practices before wrapping up, underscoring the importance of securing verbal consent, as well as making sure that consent is continuously given during the course of an encounter. It wasn't a perfect discussion, and the show definitely handled the scandal is some dubious ways, but the cast did unanimously vote to continue filming, and so continue they did.