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ABC Boss Channing Dungey on How the Bachelor Franchise Is Improving Background Checks

The Bachelorette inadvertently let a man with a pending criminal sex case on the show

Liam Mathews

The Bachelorette had a dangerous casting oversight this past season when the regular background checks studio Warner Horizon orders on potential cast members failed to turn up a pending criminal case against Lincoln Adim, who then went on the show. Adim had been charged with indecent assault and battery in Boston, Massachusettes, for groping a woman in 2016. He did not voluntarily report his legal issue during the casting process, and the background check somehow failed to turn up the charges. Adim was convicted in May 2018, shortly before The Bachelorette started airing.

At the time, Warner Bros. issued a statement that read:

"No one on The Bachelorette production had any knowledge about the incident or charges when Lincoln Adim was cast, and he himself denied ever having engaged in or having been charged with any sexual misconduct. We employ a well-respected and highly experienced third party who has done thousands of background checks consistent with industry standards to do a nationwide background check in this case. The report we received did not reference any incident or charge relating to the recent conviction -- or any other charges relating to sexual misconduct. We are currently investigating why the report did not contain this information, which we will share when we have it."

In the time since, Warner Horizon and network ABC have worked together on a way to keep something like this from happening again.

"Because it all goes through Warner Horizon, the studio, I can't speak specifically about the processes, but what I can say is that after these last few events we had a big meeting that involved the network, Warner Horizon, and the producers to talk about our vetting process and how we might be more diligent than we have been," ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey tells TV Guide. "I will say, given how many people have gone through the Bachelor and Bachelorette franchises, the small handful of issues that we've had is small on a percentage basis. But that said, we shouldn't have any. We should not be having these problems and we are committed to finding ways to increase our vetting so we are not having these problems in the future."

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In a separate interview with Variety, ABC unscripted head Rob Mills said that Lincoln's case was missed because it "happened in a place that doesn't normally get checked in these type of background checks, and now, we will make sure that every possible sweep can be made." He said that they saw a "loophole" in the way the background checks are carried out, and that it's since been closed by basically just doing "a more thorough background check now."

Warner Bros. declined to comment.

Additional reporting by Malcolm Venable.