During The Bachelorette last night (and on People slightly before), ABC released the trailer for Season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise. You'll recall that Season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise was delayed while production company Warner Bros. investigated allegations of sexual misconduct on set. No evidence of wrongdoing was found, but even after production resumed, you would expect them to take what happened seriously, right? It's not a good look to be glib about a sexual assault investigation.
But this tone-deaf trailer makes a joke out of it.
The ad is sort of implying that it got shut down because of bad weather, but the storm is a metaphorical one. "The sun had almost set. Summer was almost ruined. Paradise was almost lost," the voiceover says while disappointed tweets from fans flash across the screen. "Until it wasn't."
Those tweets are from when the investigation was underway and it looked like the show was going to be canceled, mind you. At the time, it seemed like someone may have been sexually assaulted and they were complaining that the silly show they like wasn't going to be on. By giving these tweets a national spotlight, Bachelor in Paradise is co-signing this attitude.
And then it's back to the goofy shots of animals that are the series' bread and butter. The sun is out; the storm has passed. The tweets change to "Honestly I'm so happy." Contestant Robby Hayes whispers "Crazy."
Here's the thing: Bachelor in Paradise didn't have to acknowledge the shutdown at all in the commercial. They could have just made a normal ad and let media coverage handle the aftermath of the scandal, like letting Chris Harrison say that the scandal will be addressed in-depth on the show or someone close to the show leaking the new guidelines for alcohol consumption and sexual conduct. No one would have thought it was weird if this was just a standard promo about "finding love in Paradise," because ads don't acknowledge crises unless it's like a BP commercial with a voiceover about how they're working to make things right over shots of people cleaning oil off pelicans.
But instead, Bachelor in Paradise went ahead and did this. I guess I shouldn't have expected Bachelor in Paradise to suddenly become a serious show that displays good judgement after it skirted disaster with minimal consequences. This is going to be a weird season.
Bachelor in Paradise premieres Aug. 14 on ABC.