Chris Harrison on What Went Wrong on ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ This Summer0 Comments

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Posted on 11 Sep 2017 at 8:06pm

After the season that almost wasn’t, Bachelor in Paradise attempted to wrap things up with a bow at tonight’s finale by reuniting Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson for the first time since production was shut down over allegations of misconduct earlier this summer.

While the much-anticipated joint interview didn’t reveal anything new about what did or didn’t happen in late June, Corinne and DeMario did open up about the benefits of therapy to get them through a very trying time. “Therapy has been really good for me and helped me make sense of things,” Corinne said. “I’m trying to get back to my old self.” DeMario wished Corinne happiness before adding, “I hope someday we can not be connected in this cloud.” Corinne’s response: “I think the cloud has cleared.”

But has it? After the show, host Chris Harrison admitted to us that while he’s content with how things turned out in the end, he still doesn’t love how everything was handled. “I get that you’re not satisfied with everything fully, nor am I,” he told us backstage. “I don’t love how this has gone. But you have to realize, I was put on a certain field and within a box that I had to play.”

Viewers may never know the whole story, but Chris sat down with Glamour to explain why he’s choosing not to watch the tape that reveals what happened between Corinne and DeMario and where things went off course.

In recent interviews that Corinne and DeMario have given, they’ve both blamed the media, but plenty of respected outlets only reported on the official statements that were released by both parties. What’s your take?

Chris Harrison: My take on this is, I agree, because I come from the journalism background. There were some things I saw…let’s back up. The “third party” [producer] started this ball rolling. If you’re going to blame somebody, you can start there. Then it goes to the producers, myself included, that were a part of this. Then we made the decision to shut [Paradise] down—while I somewhat agreed with it, I wasn’t fully on board with the whole shutdown, but we had to do what was right by Corinne and DeMario. I can go to bed tonight knowing that I treated DeMario and Corinne equally with respect and dignity and class and handled that as well as we possibly could.

But once we shut down, and once we made the decision to go back, you can’t un-ring that bell. You can’t do that quietly. There’s no way to quietly say, “Oh, production was shut down. Why? Allegations of assault?” So, while there was some misreporting and some wild accusations, I will defend the media—what are you going to do, not report it? You had to report that story. But with that said, when I came home, I turned on the network morning news and there were three or four facts wrong in the story that I was watching. I was astounded. How is this happening 12 hours after I get home, that there’s [already] three or four facts wrong on this network morning show?

Can you tell us what they were? Or what irritated you the most about it?

Chris: I’d have to go back and see the package that was run, but there were things said that I was like, “What?!” I called PR and said, “How does this happen? How are facts already wrong? Why are people reporting things that aren’t true?” So it started there. Those were small potatoes compared to things on the Internet, things that are “alleged,” but the problem is this “alleged” bullshit that goes out there and things can just be said now. Then outlets can go back and debunk them the next day. I call it the TMZ effect because that’s where it started. They’re masters at it. They’ve made a billion dollars on it.

You mentioned tonight that you’d love for an interview with the third party [producer] to happen. Will we ever hear from that person?

Chris: I don’t know. Look, if I had to grade myself on how all this was handled, I’d give myself about a B minus. I get that you’re not satisfied with everything fully, nor am I. I don’t love how this has gone. But you have to realize, I was put on a certain field and within a box that I had to play.

There are things I legally can and can’t say to DeMario and Corinne, and there are things I legally can and can’t say about this third party. I would love to sit down with all of them. And, by the way, you can’t just lay the blame at this third party’s feet. There are producers that messed up and dropped the ball. There are executives, there are lawyers, there are a litany of people—myself included—that should be involved in the blame game. It’s not just the media. But I get why, back to your original point, Corinne and DeMario are saying the media because when they got home, the media blew their lives up. Even DeMario said—and I saw that same report and wasn’t going to say anything about it, but when there’s a report about you dragging a lifeless body out of a hot tub and making sexual advances on that lifeless body…

That’s rape.

Chris: Right, that’s rape. When you start throwing that word out there, that’s not OK. That’s where I draw the line. There are reputable sources and reputable media outlets, like yourself…I talked to people, I was doing interviews, and I was telling people exactly what happened because I was witness to it. I was telling them things I witnessed, and they said, “Thank you but we’re not going to go with that yet, we need to confirm with another source or two before.” And I said, “Good for you.” They could have easily gone with what I said, and they would have been right, but they didn’t. There are some good people out there. I hope some things will be taken from this and a little learning.

Did you see the tape?

Chris: I have not. I have not seen the tape.

Do you want to?

Chris: No, I purposely did not see the tape. I was asked to see the tape, I could have seen the tape, I could probably still see the tape. I don’t want to. There’s no reason to. I know what’s on it. I was there that day. I didn’t see it happen live either because I wasn’t in the control room at the time it was happening, but I know what’s on it. And in no way would that change my opinion; in no way do I need to see or hear it.

So you’re happy with how things…

Chris: I’m content. I’m as content as I can be. I’m happy for Corinne and DeMario. I wanted to see that ending [that viewers saw tonight]. I felt like after those two interviews I did on earlier episodes of Bachelor in Paradise this season they needed to come together. There needed to be that cathartic ending and exchange. I don’t know if anyone cares or anyone wanted to see that, but my decision trumped that. I wanted it to happen.

The public may never know what’s on that tape exactly, or everything that went down. If anything “good” could come of this whole thing, it’s that much like the race discussions that happened on Rachel’s season, we’re having conversations about consent and sexual assault. That needs to happen more. So, as the father of a 13-year-old daughter, what do you tell her and teach her as a dad?

Chris: That’s a big question. At the end of the day, there’s not a lesson you tell your daughter. You raise your daughter. For 13 years, I have been teaching her and talking to her to have faith in her God, to have faith in her family, to trust herself, to be in control and in charge of her body. Same thing for my son. Hopefully, you keep that in mind as you make decisions in life, whether it’s consent, whether it’s drinking, whether it’s running naked across the quad in college, whatever it is! In terms of getting consent and understanding that it is consensual, it’s a big conversation but it’s a conversation I’m glad we’re having [on the show].

Glamour – Entertainment

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