CNNMoney recently obtained a copy of the contract that the contestants of the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise signed in order to be on the show. They report that a source close to the production confirmed the contract as authentic.
In a nutshell: You sign your life away.
CNNMoney explains that producers, “are able to manipulate ‘reality’ and create drama where none actually exists, and seemingly without having to take any legal responsibility for it.”
The contract essentially confirms what viewers already know. The show presents itself as more dramatic than it is. It is not necessarily scripted or staged but rather edited in to make contestants seem a certain way.
According to the contract, contestants agree that “actions and the actions of others displayed in the Series may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavorable nature and may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation, or condemnation.”
That said, any unlawful behavior is not allowed. Sexual contact is discouraged, but the show is not liable if anything ensues.
Although some of the nitty gritty details are surprising, this kind of contract is not new. It is a fairly standard procedure in similar reality shows, explained NY entertainment attorney Nicole Page. She also stated that “these contracts are so one-sided it seems absurd but this is the price people are willing to pay to be on television for whatever it is.”
So although contestants often accuse each other of “being there for the wrong reasons” or “just trying to be on TV”, it is becoming increasingly evident that is what everyone is there for.
Of course, with any sort of legal contract, there are some loopholes and gray areas that are difficult to enforce. The show does not want to look bad and wants to protect itself. But still, this contract requires contestants to put a lot out there. However, they willingly agree.
This won’t make us stop watching the show, but just gives us all things to think about as we watch. Many shows are fabricated in this way; this isn’t new information. Just a reminder to take everything with a grain of salt.
Also, does this remind anyone else of when Arial signs her voice away to Ursula in hopes to woo Prince Eric?