Why We Should Care About Sexual Assault on Reality TV

A spin-off of the popular reality show “The Bachelor” has been cancelled for the summer after sexual assault allegations by one of the contestants.

A week into filming, the fourth season of “Bachelor in Paradise” was suspended due to “misconduct” on June 4. Show creators filmed contestants DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios in a pool during an alleged sexual assault. Both individuals were extremely intoxicated, and Olympios says she doesn’t remember what happened. 

The response that followed reflects a major problem in how society address sexual assault. As it turns out, sometimes reality TV reflects real life.

As usual, the accused perpetrator is treating the allegations like an attack on his character. The survivor is trying to recover, as people claim what happened isn’t sexual assault.

“As a woman, this is my worst nightmare and it has now become my reality,” says Olympios’s statement to People. “As I pursue the details and facts surrounding that night and the immediate days after, I have retained a group of professionals to ensure that what happened on June 4 comes to light and I can continue my life, including hiring an attorney to obtain justice and seeking therapy to begin dealing with the physical and emotional trauma stemming from that evening.”

Our culture always seeks a “perfect victim” of sexual assault, otherwise they invalidate survivors. Olympios is nowhere close, and therefore some people claim she had it coming.

The past season of “The Bachelor” portrayed Olympios as a villain. She was intoxicated during the alleged assault. On “The Bachelor,” she was sexually assertive, which many labeled “over-the-top” or “too much.”

But we need to understand that sexual assault is sexual assault — no matter the survivor’s background or past behavior. No one does anything to deserve rape or victimization.

While celebrity outlets have been calling the incident a scandal, we should start calling it a crime.

Now, show creators won’t reveal if “Bachelor in Paradise” is over for good.

Some argue that they don’t care about the controversy because they don’t watch television, and others see this specific show as sexist, anti-feminist and heteronormative smut.

But they should remember that a significant number of people do. After all, the past season finale of “The Bachelor” had 1.2 million interactions on Twitter the night it aired.

Even those who don’t watch reality television should understand that the way we’re treating rape on this show is all too real.

Photo Credit: flash.pro/Flickr

94 comments

Deborah W
Deborah W2 months ago

Sometimes reality TV reflects real life ... more often real life reflects reality TV. Unable to create wholesome venues, those in control of disbursement, with for-profit on the brain, have resorted to the stimulous of sensationalism involving violence, slavery, and whatever other vices surface as the flavor of the day. Personal opinion is that this has led to copy-cat "trials" both damaging and deadly. Those already on the edge cross over more easily and frequently given a visual "how-to". Only good to be gained is a recheck on personal responsibility and ownership of elements that, if abused, play into these outcome situations.

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Lisa M
Lisa M2 months ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M2 months ago

Noted.

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Elaine W
Elaine W2 months ago

Reality T.V. can go beyond the limits of common sense just for the thrill or chill of the viewers. Over the limit for me.

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Tammie Chambers
Tammie Chambers3 months ago

?Shouldnt the people behind the cameras stop filming and Do something?

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Will R
Will Rogers3 months ago

Normalising sexual assaults is awful.

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Carl R
Carl R3 months ago

Thanks!!!

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Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks

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Janis K
Janis K3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Jim V
Jim Ven3 months ago

thanks

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