A Cautionary Tale: ABC's Bachelor in Paradise Scandal

I've never seen the Bachelor in Paradise show, but I know the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise (of which BIP is a spin-off) is a significant part of the ABC brand. When the news of the scandal first broke, it looked as if the allegations of possible misconduct leveled at DeMario Jackson would derail the show's schedule; after production was shut down while an investigation was performed. The result of an internal probe yielded no evidence of any impropriety by Jackson toward his fellow contestant Corinne Olympios. However, Olympios' lawyer, Marty Singer, said that they're conducting their own separate investigation into the incident.

My first reaction to this story was one of disbelief. Not so much that a complaint was filed, but that it was made by one of the show's producers, who was uncomfortable with the interaction between Jackson and Olympios. Also, at the naivety DeMario Jackson, despite his comments quoted here, "It's crazy because when you're a man -- mostly African American man -- no matter where you're at, you always look for things that can help you out," Jackson said. "And at that moment, I made sure the cameras followed us. It just seemed too perfect in a sense for me, and at the point, that's when my spidey senses got up."  Yet Jackson still dove head first into a precarious situation. And, that choice has caused him nothing but trouble ever since. Remember, both he and Olympios have retained legal counsel, and her side continues to investigate the incident, so the possibility of legal action, whether criminal or civil is still hanging out there.

What would cause his "spidey sense" to kick in?

Could it be he is a black man, and Olympios, a white woman? Maybe it was the amount of alcohol consumed or the advances of Olympios. It might have been the combination of all these things. Regardless of the particular trigger, Jackson reviewed the scenario in his mind and knew the situation could be problematic for him, so much so that he made sure cameras and producers were around and that they could corroborate the facts of the encounter should an issue arise. Ironically, it wasn't Olympios, but a producer who filed the initial complaint.

Let this be a Lesson...

for other young men and women that could easily find themselves in a similar situation, only without the benefit of camera's rolling or others present to confirm their story. First, let me say alcohol and hook-ups usually don't mix. Quite often, someone regrets their words or actions (or both) in the harsh light of the morning. Just ask DeMario Jackson or any other guy that has been accused of misconduct if they would have done things differently. So guys, realize the abundance of caution that you must - not should, but must - exercise in situations that can easily escalate to an allegation of misconduct. Make the best choice possible. Remove yourself from the situation. Ladies, the same advice applies. 

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