Since news broke on Sunday that Bachelor in Paradise has officially halted production due to an investigation into allegations of misconduct, a spotlight has been cast on the franchise — particularly regarding the way it handles sex.
PEOPLE sources previously confirmed production was suspended after a producer raised concerns about an alleged sexual encounter between contestant DeMario Jackson, 30, and a female cast mate, both of whom had reportedly been drinking heavily all day. (Thus far, no legal action has been taken, and neither cast member had spoken out about what happened.)
But a former producer from the franchise tells PEOPLE they aren’t surprised something like this has happened in Paradise.
“It’s par for the course that there is a drunken hookup that went too far — that certainly goes on all the time,” says the producer.
“There’s a lot of sex on the various shows that happens that never airs,” he adds. “There are cameras everywhere and there’s nowhere to hide, so when cast members behave outrageously, they allow themselves to forget there are cameras — and just get caught up in the moment.”
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According to him, the hookups are largely spurred by the fact that Paradise is “like spring break, or summer camp.”
“It’s like real life is suspended,” he says. “Time is just different there. You’re filming around the clock, production is around-the-clock and it’s around-the-clock partying.”
“It’s a party vibe, and that’s generally the way that the show works,” says the producer of the Bachelor summer spin-off, which places the cast in an elaborate game of romantic musical chairs in Mexico, with those unable to couple up sent home every week.
“The whole point of the show is that to succeed you need to make friends, and people feel it’s advantageous to drink and hook up and find a boyfriend or girlfriend,” he adds.
So what role does the production team play?
“Producers aren’t forcing people to do questionable things,” he says. “There are no storylines written. The worst thing they’ll do is let people know that the people who succeed here tend to make a lot of friends, or find someone to be in a relationship with.
When things have gone too far in the past, producers will generally intervene — “especially if someone has gotten too drunk and can’t handle themselves,” says the producer. “If someone’s had a few drinks, but seem to know what they’re doing, you’re probably going to let that go. If someone is passing out or slurring, you’re going to take care of them.”
“Producers absolutely step in if they think there is something bad going on,” he adds. “They’re all over the place and monitoring absolutely everything. The majority of producers are women and there’s a real sensitivity to this sort of stuff about being taken advantage of.”
“Let me start by saying the safety and care of the cast and crew of our show is of the utmost importance to us,” he said. “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,” he added. “We urge everyone to be patient until the investigation is complete.”