‘Par­adise’ with new boundaries

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - By Andy Dehnart cal­en­dar@la­times.com

The first fight on “Bach­e­lor in Par­adise” af­ter pro­duc­tion re­sumed was be­tween the cast and pro­duc­ers.

Even though is­sues re­lated to im­pair­ment from al­co­hol con­sump­tion and con­sent be­tween con­tes­tants were at the cen­ter of the pro­duc­tion shut­down of the ABC re­al­ity show in June, the cast fought back against new rules lim­it­ing their drink­ing — and those dis­cus­sions will be part of the new sea­son, which re­turns Mon­day.

The cast was sent home when “al­le­ga­tions of mis­con­duct” were re­ported to Warner Hori­zon, which pro­duces the show.

“While there were al­le­ga­tions, there was a very de­tailed in­ves­ti­ga­tion with Warner Bros. that re­sulted in the un­der­stand­ing that there was no wrong­do­ing that oc­curred,” said ABC en­ter­tain­ment pres­i­dent Chan­ning Dungey dur­ing her pre­sen­ta­tion at the Tele­vi­sion Crit­ics Assn. press tour on Sun­day.

Yet, she said, what hap­pened on lo­ca­tion was “a lit­tle bit of a wake-up call to re­ally make sure that we have all of the right pro­cesses in place.”

Those pro­cesses led to conf lict with the con­tes­tants when they re­turned to the Playa Es­con­dida re­sort in Sayulita, Mex­ico, where al­co­hol had pre­vi­ously flowed un­abated.

“They were quite up­set when we ini­tially wanted them to have very lit­tle [to] drink. They were like, ‘Ab­so­lutely not. That’s not fair,’ and right­fully so,” said Martin Hil­ton, ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of “The Bach­e­lor” fran­chise, who added, “that’s also what sum­mer fun in par­adise is.”

The push­back came dur­ing an “open con­ver­sa­tion” with the re­turn­ing cast about new rules gov­ern­ing con­sent “and re­ally ev­ery­thing about what leads up to con­sent, in­clud­ing drink­ing,” he said. “The ques­tion was fig­ur­ing out: How much, and where’s our line and what’s re­spon­si­ble?”

Those ques­tions “re­ally have to do with eval­u­at­ing what is right for safety for cast and for crew,” Hil­ton said. “Even the per­ceived is­sue that some­thing could have hap­pened, is enough for us to re­ally be proac­tive and look at how we make the show and ad­just it.”

“It’s not just about the show polic­ing them, but it’s re­ally about per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity on their part in terms of not only drink­ing but their be­hav­ior in gen­eral and how they re­late to one an­other,” Hil­ton said, not­ing cast mem­bers should play a key role in gov­ern­ing their own be­hav­ior.

But there was an al­co­hol limit im­posed dur­ing pro­duc­tion, though it isn’t a per­ma­nent rule.

“It’s trial and er­ror. I’m not sure. I can’t say it’s re­ally the right one,” Hil­ton said, adding that in the fu­ture, “we may ac­tu­ally de­cide to have them drink more or less.”

For the rest of Sea­son 4, how­ever, “it seemed to work out fine, and there were no is­sues.”

Paul He­bert ABC

DIS­CUS­SIONS BE­TWEEN the cast and pro­duc­ers about per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity, al­co­hol and con­sent af­fected the lat­est sea­son of “Bach­e­lor in Par­adise.”

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