But the show hasn't shied from the scandal — in fact, it's promoting it
A producer on ABC's "The Bachelor" was fired for having an affair with one of the contestants on the show last fall, host Chris Harrison revealed Monday.
Appearing on a Los Angeles radio station to promote tonight's season premiere, Harrison called the incident "incredibly unfortunate" and "embarassing," according to Us Magazine.
But ABC isn't hiding the incident: It's actually been promoting the concept of a major "scandal" in on-air promos airing for weeks on the network, according to blog Reality TV World.
According to Harrison, a male producer on "The Bachelor" and the female contestant somehow "found time" to hook up during production of the show's new season. When their liaisons were uncovered, the producer was fired and the bachelorette removed from the show, Us said.
In addition, Jake Pavelka — this season's stud-in-residence (pictured) — was told of the incident, presumably to avoid any unfair interference in his quest for true love.
Producers opted to "nip this in the bud and take care of it," Harrison said. "And that's what we did. There's trainwrecks in this show where I'm like, ‘Oh, it's going to be great. Let's let them have it.’ I felt bad for everybody, and it was an uncomfortable deal … Horrible decisions were made. This is something that we took very seriously."
Not surprisingly, given the highly choreographed nature of many reality shows, Harrison couldn't simply tell the cheating bachelorette she was being dumped.
"This was the rare time that before I had to go talk to the girl, Jake and then the women, I had lawyers, psychologists, producers, executives saying, ‘Okay, these are the words you can say,'" he said. "It was intense. It was a wild night."