Normally, Jimmy Kimmel's spoofs of the Bachelor franchise are cause for laughter. However, his latest — a toddler version of Bachelor in Paradise — comes off a bit short-sighted given the controversy surrounding the distinctly adult series.
Earlier this summer, a producer filed a complaint of misconduct following a sexual encounter between contestants DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios, who were said to be too intoxicated to give proper consent, and production was shut down for several weeks.
ABC was previously called out for its tone-deaf Season 4 promo which turned the serious situation into a joke. "The sun had almost set. Summer was almost ruined. Paradise was almost lost," a voiceover prompted before jumping into a salacious montage teasing lots of drama ahead.
Despite the misstep, network boss Channing Dungey says the show, which will see Jackson and Olympios appear in a special episode to tell their side of the story, will handle the controversy respectfully and work to ensure the safety of future contestants.
"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," she said during the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
On a positive note, it's extremely doubtful that Kimmel's full skit will go so far as to directly reference this supremely delicate situation. It's hard for us to laugh about Bachelor in Paradise these days, but we'll try to reserve full judgement until we've seen the sketch. And Bachelor in Paradise, too, for that matter.
Jimmy Kimmel Live airs weeknights at 11:35/10:35c on ABC. Tonight's episode airs after The Bachelorette's Season 13 finale and will feature the first talk show appearance by Rachel Lindsay and her betrothed.