Producers for Bachelor nation’s many shows pretty much own the souls of the contestants involved.
No, really. On Wednesday, CNN exposed SEVERAL troubling components which made up the season four contract for Bachelor In Paradise. It seems these documents allow those in charge of the show to edit and distort footage to fit a narrative they’d like.
This news isn’t PARTICULARLY shocking as we’ve all seen Lifetime‘s UnReal at this point. LOLz!
Anywho, according to the news outlet, participants who sign this contract give producers “the right to change, add to, take from, edit, translate, reformat or reprocess… in any manner [they] may determine in its sole discretion.” To make matters worse, those involved understand their “actions and the actions of others displayed in the Series may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavorable nature and may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation, or condemnation.” Oof.
Entertainment attorney Nicole Page summed it up perfectly as she explained:
“I can basically take your image and do whatever I want with it and I own it and you have no recourse. Contracts like these are common in reality TV…. [they] have been around since reality TV began.”
Not to mention, this iron clad contract protects the show from having to face consequences over certain scandals — like the one involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson. Apparently, the legal document bans contestants from any unlawful behavior or harassment AND notes that producers discourage participants from engaging in “intimate or sexual” contact with each other. Now, if the stars DO become involved, the paperwork specifies that producers aren’t liable for “unwelcome/unlawful contact or other interaction among participants.”
No wonder BIP season four was able to resume filming. Tsk, tsk.
Regardless, there ARE loopholes in the contract which make it seem as though a contestant could seek legal justice if a crime occurred on set. Litigator Josh Schiller revealed:
“If the contract requires you to release any claims you have that you were sexually assaulted, which is a crime, then the contract may or may not be enforceable under the public policy of the state of California [where this contract was drafted]. Law enforcement could get involved and bring charges … would we want to enforce a contract that no one would be liable if they were filmed being sexually assaulted? That would create a real problem.”
Still the fight would be an intense one, as ANY participant who seeks to sue production agrees via the contract to wave their right to a jury trial and instead present claims to arbitration. This means any decision made is final and legally binding. Damn.
Unsurprisingly, Warner Bros. declined to comment on CNN‘s contract findings…