This summer Bachelor Nation fans are less concerned about who is hooking up on Bachelor in Paradise and more anticipating how ABC and Warner Bros. will handle airing the incident that lead to misconduct allegations and a production shutdown.
ABC was already called out for its insensitive ad promoting the new season, which is airing a week later than planned after a producer filed a complaint of misconduct following a sexual encounter between intoxicated contestants DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios. An investigation by Warner Bros. found that no wrongdoing actually occurred, but ABC caught flack when their season promo made nods to the incident in a "cheeky" way.
Network boss Channing Dungey assured critics during her executive panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Sunday that the show will not take a lighthearted approach to talking about the scandal. The entire ordeal has better prepared production for making sure contestants are participating in safe situations.
"In terms of all the conversations that we've had with [Warner Bros.], it certainly has brought to light some safety issues that we want to make sure we are more on top of moving forward in terms [making sure] our contestants are safe and protected at all times," Dungey said. "And it's always a good idea that when something like this happens it's a little bit of a wake-up call to really make sure we have all the right processes in place, and we feel very good that we do."
However, Dungey wasn't willing to divulge any details of what actually happened between Jackson and Olympios on that night of production.
"That's really more of a question for Warner Brothers than for ABC. They are the ones that conducted the investigation and have all the detailed information about it," she said. "It's a studio show. We license and distribute the show, but it's under their control. They own the production of that."
It looks like Bachelor Nation will just have to wait to see how it plays out and decide for themselves.
Bachelor in Paradise returns Monday, Aug. 14 on ABC.