“The Bachelorette” star Eric Bigger has weighed in on the “Bachelor in Paradise” production shutdown that has been in the spotlight throughout the ABC dating show’s fourth season.
Corinne Olympios returns to the series tonight for a sit-down interview with host Chris Harrison to discuss her sexual encounter with fellow contestant DeMario Jackson that led Warner Bros. to temporarily halt filming. Jackson appeared on last Tuesday’s episode to tell his side of the story.
Bigger, who ended up in third place on Rachel Lindsay’s recently-concluded season of “The Bachelorette,” told TheWrap he has “absolutely” been in touch with Jackson since news broke about the shutdown. Jackson co-starred with Bigger on Lindsay’s season until getting kicked off for a previous relationship.
“That’s my guy,” Bigger said of Jackson. “When he was going through it, I reached out to him.”
“He’s a person at the end of the day, just like everybody else,” he continued. “Same as Corinne — she’s a person. Let’s not get it twisted. These are people who have feelings, who have lives. At the end of the day, this is their life.”
Earlier this season, many of the “Paradise” cast members indicated that they felt race was a factor in the scandal that surrounded what happened between Olympios and Jackson, and Bigger told TheWrap that he agrees.
“Race plays a role because people let it play a role,” he said. “If color didn’t matter, if race didn’t matter, then we wouldn’t even be talking about it.”
Bigger pointed out that people were too quick in rushing to judgment about Olympios and Jackson’s hookup.
“Everyone’s making assumptions and judging because people go with what they see and not what they know,” he said. “That’s the world we live in.”
The motivational speaker and personal trainer says he doesn’t have any regrets about his time with Lindsay. He pointed out that he is not currently dating and is instead focusing on his career prospects, but that he would be open to starring as the next Bachelor.
“If the opportunity presents itself, I would absolutely be open to it, honor it, look at it and take advantage of it, if it’s for me,” Bigger said. “I don’t force things, and I believe real things happen naturally. So if the ‘Bachelor’ opportunity happens for me, and it’s natural, then absolutely. I feel like the [‘Bachelorette’] opportunity happened for me naturally, and I took advantage of it, and now I’m here.”
“Bachelor in Paradise” airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.