A female Bachelorette producer has come forward with new allegations of sexual misconduct on the set of The Bachelorette. The producer, Becky Steenhoek, has already filed paperwork stating her allegations to a Los Angeles court. In the documents, obtained by E! News, Steenhoek details a laundry list of allegations about the sexually explicit questions she was asked by other Bachelorette producers and the sexual misconduct she experienced while filming. The incidents reportedly happened while Steenhoek was working on the set of JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette. Be forewarned: Some of the following details about Steenhoek’s allegations are quite graphic.
Court documents include the disturbing allegation Steenhoek was asked questions about her sex life and invasive questions about her personal grooming habits by executives and other producers on set. This apparently included explicit questions like, “Is your vagina shaved?”, “Have you ever sat under a shower faucet or touched yourself to masturbate?”, and “Have you ever fondled [testicles] before?” — all questions anyone would immediately note as deeply inappropriate questions in a workplace setting.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Steenhoek makes it clear that this apparent line of questioning became a thing on set. Once other producers saw it made her uncomfortable (and understandably so), Steenhoek alleges she would constantly be asked those questions in an effort by co-workers to trip her up or make her blush. “You could visibly tell it was very uncomfortable to me to witness, just because they did make comments like, ‘Oh, Becky’s blushing,’ or ‘Her ears are probably burning.’ It was a bit of a theme that carried on throughout the season […] it was a fun time for them to see me get embarrassed,” she told the newspaper.
Steenhoek was let go from her role at The Bachelorette, and she believes it was because she brought these concerns to those in charge. For example, when she told a cast producer about what had been said, she was told it was “locker room talk” (a phrase we are not at all unfamiliar with in cases like this). Additionally, Steenhoek believes she was fired for her “morals,” the thing that apparently contributed to her being hired. “When I was hired for the job, the reason they told me I was being hired [was] because I did have the morals and they felt I was a good person. And then here I am being fired because of that reason.”
Warner Bros. issued the following statement about Steenhoek’s allegations: “We take all allegations of workplace harassment very seriously. These allegations were brought to our attention and were thoroughly investigated earlier this year. Our findings did not support the plaintiff’s characterization of the events claimed to have taken place, which is why we are disappointed by the filing of this lawsuit.”
This is certainly not the first sexual misconduct scandal that has hit a Bachelor franchise in 2017, nor is it the first set of allegations of sexual misconduct brought forward by a woman working in the entertainment industry in recent memory; that does not mean it’s not troubling, and it certainly means the entirety of The Bachelor group of shows may need to do some soul-searching in regard to their culture on set if these allegations are true.