Chris Harrison is urging fans to be patient as allegations of misconduct on the set of Bachelor in Paradise are being investigated.
The longtime host of ABC's The Bachelor franchise released a statement Monday, after news that production of the fourth season of the spinoff series was halted in the wake of an internal complaint by a producer about sexual activity among contestants.
TMZ and others have reported the female contestant may have been too drunk to consent and didn't remember anything that happened.
Harrison, who has acted as host, mentor and friend to current and former contestants over the years, said he felt the need to speak out "with all the rumors" and "competing details in the various press accounts of the incident. And there’s a lot of misinformation out there, too," he said. "We urge everyone to be patient until the investigation is complete."
On Sunday, Warner Bros, which produces the series, released a statement saying filming had been suspended.
"We have become aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico," the studio said. "We have suspended production and we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations. Once the investigation is complete, we will take appropriate responsive action.”
The fourth season of Paradise, which brings together former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants in a tropical location for a second chance at love, had been underway in Mexico, and was set to air Aug. 8. But it now appears unlikely that the series, which had recently begun filming, can be restarted in time to air this summer. The investigation is expected to conclude within a week, but several members of the cast were spotted last week at an airport leaving Puerto Vallarta.
Read Harrison's full statement below.
By now no doubt you have heard that we have suspended production on this season's 'Bachelor in Paradise.' I can confirm to you that this is sadly the case. Out of respect to all involved, there's only so much I can and will say at this time. Normally with a situation like this I would not say anything until the incident is fully resolved, but with all the rumors and misinformation being put out there I don't find that to be possible anymore.
Let me start by saying the safety and care of the cast and crew of our show is of the utmost importance to us. It is with this thought in mind that we made the decision to suspend filming. An investigation into the situation was started immediately. Warner Bros. is handling the details of that investigation. They're moving quickly to gather all the facts, and once that's done a clear concise decision can be made about where we go from here.
There are a lot of competing details in the various press accounts of the incident. And there’s a lot of misinformation out there too. We urge everyone to be patient until the investigation is complete.
I know in this day and age we want and even expect immediate answers but in this case it's just not possible. So again I urge you to please be patient and respect the privacy of the parties involved. I will keep you as informed and up to date as I possibly can. We’re sorry for any inconvenience and disappointment this may have caused the cast, the crew and our loyal fans. It is my sincere hope that we can come to a quick resolution on this and get back to work very soon.
Thank youChris Harrison