Some changes have come to Bachelor in Paradise ahead of its fourth season, and honestly, they’re probably good things.
Following the notable BIP scandal early in Season 4’s filming, which was centered on allegations of sexual misconduct and consent, filming was shut down in June. During that time, all the contestants were sent home while Warner Bros. conducted an investigation into the incident.
We wondered if it was the end of BIP while also hoping everyone was safe and OK and the allegations were being taken seriously. We’re still not 100 percent sure about that last one — thanks, in part, to the first teaser for the season, which makes light of the situation in a truly cringeworthy way — but regardless, BIP came back with a set of new rules about the way contestants can drink and interact during filming. These rules included a focus on controlling alcohol consumption and the constant practice of active, enthusiastic consent.
BIP Season 4 contest Vinny Ventiera (who competed on JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette) told E News that when he was called back to BIP to resume filming, he had to agree to the new guidelines. “The most significant change was we had a limit on what we could drink,” he explained. We were only allowed two drinks per hour, so every hour, we’d have a log and we’d go up there and get two drinks.”
He continued, “Also, we had to make sure, on camera, that if we wanted to spend the night with a significant other that it would be on camera and consensual. On-camera consent. As if it’s not already awkward that you’re on camera hanging out with somebody, now you have to go in front of the camera and look at it and go, I’m willing to go spend the night with this person. It wasn’t a buzzkill, but it was a little bit of a speed bump.”
The fact that consent is being taken into consideration by producers now is definitely a welcome change, especially considering how drinking and hookups are central to the storyline in Paradise. We can’t say we’re completely sold on ABC’s decision to re-continue the season, but this is a good start.