The Biggest Takeaway from the Bachelor in Paradise Controversy

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably at least heard about the current controversy surrounding this summer’s season of Bachelor in Paradise. The reality show, famous for bringing together a group of former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants for a few weeks of partying in Mexico, has halted production on its fourth season, which was slated to premiere on August 8 of this year.

The controversy is confusing, especially because nothing is a known fact yet. Here’s what we know: There was an “incident” involving two contestants, DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios. Both contestants were intoxicated, and together they engaged in “sexually explicit relations,” relations for which Corinne was reportedly not consensual. A producer filed a third-party complaint against the production regarding “allegations of misconduct,” and filming was subsequently halted. It is currently unknown whether or not the season and series will ever continue, but an investigation is currently underway in lieu of production. We don’t know what exactly went down between DeMario and Corinne, but we do know that Corinne just released her first official statement, in which she says that she is a victim, and that her biggest nightmare has become her reality.

It’s been reported that DeMario believes that the release of the official footage would exonerate him from any sexual assault allegations. We may never know exactly what happened in those lost hours of June 4, 2017, but the Internet is drawing a lot of conclusions. For those of you who did not watch Corinne on Season 21 of The Bachelor, it’s important to note that she was portrayed as a villain on her season. To viewers, Corinne appeared promiscuous and immature. We’ve already discussed the role producers play in portraying Bachelor contestants and how it can negatively affect their lives. I keep hearing people say things like, “It’s no surprise that Corinne is in the center of a controversy,” and I’ve seen a variety of tweets regarding Corinne, her behavior, and her role in the incident.

 


Regardless of the details, we know that a woman is claiming to have been treated in a way to which she did not consent. We know that sexual assault has been claimed – a claim that should NEVER be taken lightly. The fact that these accusations were made should never be taken lightly, and blame should not be misplaced.

The more we learn about this situation, the more we can place blame on those responsible for the incident.  But do not blame the victim. Do not blame a woman who, like you and I sometimes do, had too much to drink at a party and is unsure of what happened next.

 

By making it seem like the victim is at fault for whatever repercussions come from his or her alleged attack, we hinder other (proven) victims from seeking the mental, physical, and emotional help to which they are entitled but might be afraid to seek.

 

By blaming the victim and shaming someone who was potentially attacked, we run the risk of scaring off past and future victims from telling their stories and getting the help they do need. By making it seem like the victim is at fault for whatever repercussions come from his or her alleged attack, we hinder other (proven) victims from seeking the mental, physical, and emotional help to which they are entitled but might be afraid to seek. If we shame a woman who is a part of a story that has not even yet been proven, what will we say to a woman who is in the middle of her own personal proven nightmare?

If Corinne was assaulted, it was not her fault. It is certainly not her fault that we may never see another episode of Bachelor in Paradise. The fact that this even needs to be stated seems moot, but apparently it needs to be said.

Regardless of how the story of Corinne and DeMario plays out, SEXUAL ASSAULT IS NEVER THE VICTIM’S FAULT. The fault is ours if we allow disgraceful behavior to continue without supporting the victims among us. We are all responsible for the way we treat others and the way people treat each other around us. Stand up, speak out, and love each other. It’s that simple.

  • Katie McLain

    You go on about victim blaming but what about the hell an accused person endures. We are to believe the woman here but not the man? You can’t expect one without also upholding the old saying, “Innocent until proven guilty”. If there is video of this incident, it can be viewed in court. A shame your article only highlights one side.

    • Dana Zillgitt

      Coming from a situation where I was drugged and taken advantage of after saying ‘no’ numerous times before hand, i tried to file a report but they were more focused on what i was doing or wearing during more so than they were with arresting him. I don’t think this article is meant to say that shaming any particular party involved is alright. There’s just a significantly disproportionate amount where the survivor is vilified instead of respecting both parties involved in court rooms until the verdict (if there even is one) has been given.

      and given that this will be a hugely public case, there is a tendency to question one side more so than the other.

    • This article highlights one side because it is a side that is obviously not being discussed to the degree that it should. Victim blaming is disgustingly rampant in our society and the more it can be brought to light as an issue we can address individually, the better. There are other articles taking the side that both individuals -given ample alcohol by production, but not monitored well enough- are the victims, but each platform is free to address the controversy as they see fit. Since those articles were published, the male came out to say that he saw nothing wrong with the events of that night, and as such is not considered a victim anymore. Either way, the message is clear: Victim blaming is not ok and does not solve the problem.

  • Maria McCoy

    It’s more important to learn the facts and get the clearest picture possible before making judgments about either party.

  • Josie924

    I love that this article is not assuming any facts we don’t know to be facts, or saying the other side is a liar, and Corinne is telling the truth.
    It’s simply explaining the issue that so many people seem to be missing or not understanding, even in this day and age. There is a lot of historical context around this issue, that people don’t always see because it’s so ingrained in culture; it is not a new thing that a victim is blamed because she is a woman and is “too drunk” “too promiscuous” “too scantily dressed” that she deserves this. But no. one. deserves. sexual. assault. no. matter. what.
    There are many men in the world who DO NOT abuse women, no matter how the woman is dressed or how much she has drank. That should be EVERY man, but evidently and sadly, it is not. And that’s what we should be focusing; changing our view on what men can do differently rather than women.
    The article is talking about this culture that people on the internet has used to accuse and blame Corinne.
    Extremely well written point of view. Everyone needs to read this.

  • Anna Wagner

    Victim blaming is never right – it doesn’t matter what Corinne may have done previously. Obviously, a drunk person cannot properly consent. But, when 2 people are equally drunk neither can properly consent so I find it hard to blame either party if they are both relatively equally drunk. Obviously, no judgement can be made in this instance yet. In any case, this was certainly a necessary piece because all too often we do ask about a victim’s past behavior and what she wore, etc.

  • anniebananie

    Hmm…the biggest takeaway for me is how society (myself included) perpetuates this grey area of sexual assault by creating and watching shows like The Bachelor in Paradise. The show’s entire premise has always been about putting attention seekers in a sexually-charged environment with unlimited alcohol, then directed to hook up with each other based around ratings. I mean, what did you expect was going to eventually happen?? We’re crazy to think that we’ve never watched women on BIP be too intoxicated to do things that they ended up doing- someone just happen to blow the whistle this time and put a label on it, so we quickly write articles to proclaim that sexual assault is never okay when we’ve been egging this behavior on all along.

    • I think the biggest factor is whether there was consent in the situation in this article, as opposed to the dalliances we’ve seen in past seasons. But I do agree that by tuning into shows that do perpetuate gray areas (like rape culture & misogyny), we could be complicit and have the ability to address these instances in our personal lives whenever we become aware of them.

  • I completely agree with your statement but filming continued the the court figured out the issue so we’ll never know what happened exactly. I didn’t appreciate the guy immediately being blamed for something that we had no idea about. All of our thoughts were based off speculation. Both parties were at fault. They were BOTH drinking and production didn’t stop what was happening until someone told the press.

  • Scooter

    I am all for women’s rights and having been sexually assaulted in the past, I get this.. but Corinne uses her sexuality as a tool of power, as we saw in the bachelor. She also very much seems like the kind of woman who likes attention, whether it’s good or bad. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if DeMario was the one who was taken advantage of in this situation. I think Corinne got wasted and took things too far on night one and then felt extremely embarrassed and stated this happened.