Bachelor In Paradise may be forging ahead after a scandal nearly felled the United States’ spinoff series, but Australia’s Keira Maguire says she’ll no longer be a part of the “tacky” show.
“I think with the whole situation, it just doesn’t sound like something I want to be a part of,” Maguire told Fairfax Media, after Warner Bros, the series’ US studio, announced production would be resuming on the controversy-plagued show.
“When I got the phone call saying the show was cancelled, it felt a bit like a blessing in disguise,” said Maguire.
“With the events that happened, it made me look at it from a different angle… I definitely won’t be going on the show.”
Maguire – a breakout on last year’s The Bachelor, who also won over fans with her entertaining outbursts on Ten’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here – last week revealed she’d been handpicked by the show’s US producers to appear on the Bachelor spinoff’s upcoming, internationally-focused, fourth season.
But her scheduled departure to the show’s Mexico location was called off, after the series was rocked by allegations producers allowed a sexual assault to take place during the shoot.
According to reports, a field producer filed a formal complaint against the show after watching graphic footage of contestants Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson engaged in sexual activity in the set’s swimming pool.
Olympios was heavily intoxicated and therefore unable to consent to the sexual contact that occurred, TMZ reported.
The 24-year-old hired lawyers, later issuing a statement saying, “I am a victim… As a woman, this is my worst nightmare and it has now become my reality.”
Amid the confusion, cast members and producers took to Twitter to detail the incident and take sides, while Jackson called on the show to “release the tapes” to exonerate him.
Meanwhile, the show’s network ABC had abruptly shut down the entire production, with cast and crew sent home amid reports the series had been permanently cancelled.
But overnight, Warner Bros revealed the production would be resuming after an internal investigation found no evidence of misconduct.
“The tape does not support any charge of misconduct by a cast member. Nor does the tape show, contrary to many press reports, that the safety of any cast member was ever in jeopardy,” itsstatement said.
“Production on this season of Bachelor In Paradise will be resuming, and we plan to implement certain changes to the show’s policies and procedures to enhance and further ensure the safety and security of all participants.”
Olympios responded with her own statement through her lawyer, slamming the studio’s decision.
“It comes as no surprise that Warner Bros, as a result of its own internal investigation, would state that no wrong doing had occurred,” it read.
“Our own investigation will continue based on multiple new witnesses coming forward revealing what they saw and heard.”
The ugly saga has thrown the Bachelor franchise into a tailspin, and shed light on some of the very Unreal-esque manipulations that happen behind-the-scenes on reality television in an attempt to manufacture drama.
Maguire – who says she’s since booked a holiday to Italy during the show’s filming dates, thus confirming she won’t be reporting to set – says the scandal confirmed her reservations about appearing on the show.
“Obviously, the phone call [to appear on the show] was out of the blue. It was a good opportunity to branch out into the States, but I don’t know if that’s the right angle,” she says.
“The fact that people are getting that drunk… I don’t really want to be in that environment, around people who don’t have control over what they’re doing. It’s just like, yuck, it’s a bit tacky.”
She did, however, hint at the controversial theatrics she might’ve offered the series – and those at the centre of the scandal.
“To witness that, I’d probably be quite opinionated,” she said. “For me, it’s, like, take responsibility for your actions.”
Even though Maguire says the cast on shows like The Bachelor are encouraged by production crew to get loose on free-flowing booze, she says contestants are ultimately responsible for their own actions.
“You’re on a TV show for goodness sake – why would you get yourself that drunk to not remember?
“With these shows, although they do set up situations, you don’t have a gun to your head and you’re not told what to do – you can’t blame anyone else.”
Bachelor In Paradise screens on 9Life, although Network Nine are yet to confirm if they’ll be airing the upcoming season.