ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey fielded a number of “Bachelor in Paradise” questions on Sunday, except for the one about what actually happened on-set between contestants DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios.
Early on in her executive session at ABC’s Television Critics Association press tour day, Dungey was asked about a now-infamous promo for the dating competition’s upcoming season, which many found to be tone-deaf in its playful nature — especially considering the very serious sexual assault allegations that had initially halted production.
“We were never looking for a way to ‘sensationalize’ it,” Dungey said when one writer posed that particular verb. “The ‘Bachelor’ Nation is very engaged, so there’s nothing that happens in the universe that they are not completely up to speed with.”
“The promo in question did not refer to the alleged incident at all,” she continued. “It actually was comprised of a bunch of tweets from ‘Bachelor’ Nation, who were expressing their disappointment that there wouldn’t be a season, and then the joy that there would be.”
“We thought that it was cheeky and funny and sort of in-line with the show,” Dungey finished speaking about the TV ad. “However, the response told us otherwise, and then we pulled it.”
That’s about as much Dungey shared about her non-“Scandal” scandal. The Beverly Hilton Q&A session even got a little testy when the executive remained mum on what actually went down between Jackson and Olympios.
“Why hasn’t ABC or Warner Bros. said exactly what happened in that incident, and why they concluded there was no wrongdoing?” a second critic asked Dungey a little later.
“That’s really more of a question for Warner Bros. than for ABC,” she responded. “They’re the ones that conducted the investigation and have all of the detailed information about that.”
“Didn’t they tell you what happened?” the critic followed-up.
“Yeah, but I’m not necessarily at liberty to speak about that,” Dungey said. “That’s really a question for Warner Bros.”
“Why wouldn’t you be able to say what happened?” the critic again pushed back.
“Because it’s a studio show,” she responded. “We license and distribute the show, but it’s under their control. They own the production of that.”
“Bachelor in Paradise” returns Monday, Aug. 14 at 8/7c on ABC.