Last year’s scandal in “Paradise” had host Chris Harrison worried about the future of the “Bachelor” spinoff.
“There definitely was a time I thought that the show might not come back,” Harrison told Entertainment Tonight in a recent interview about the ABC reality show. “I mean any show, as we just learned in recent history, you are one catastrophic event away from being gone.”
“I always understood that about this business, and we’re all tenuous at best, we’re all replaceable, and that television, that this business, it’s a crazy, crazy business,” he added.
The scandal in question involved Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, who had a sexual encounter that led to questions of consent and both exiting the show. The incident also caused production to halt briefly while Warner Bros. conducted an investigation. Jackson was eventually cleared of wrongdoing, but the whole experience has left host Harrison extra-wary.
“It’s never lost on me that something like last summer could be bigger than it was,” he said. “Luckily, we have some great people at the helm and we dove in, myself included, got our hands dirty and fixed it and solved the problem and everybody came back. It goes, I think, a long way in showing how everyone trust and love us that they come back and they believe this can work.”
Harrison said it was important to make sure the dynamic on set puts safety first, and that everyone is having “the right kind of good time.”
“First and foremost … is making sure everybody is safe, feels comfortable, and has a good time, but the right kind of good time, where everybody is in on it and in on the joke and knows what’s happening,” he said. “But ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ is always about fun, because it’s not ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette,’ you all sign back up for this, it’s like summer camp. It’s all the people you know and love — and some you don’t know or love them as much — but it’s about having a good time.”
“Bachelor in Paradise” returns to ABC Aug. 7.