Some of fans’ worst suspicions appear confirmed after Business Insider published a devastating article about conditions on the set of Love Is Blind. The piece is wrenching and contains sensitive details on mental illness and exploitation content. So be forewarned. The article itself is behind a paywall, but it was detailed on Reddit. It contains interviews from former participants including one of the couples from season 2 who divorced. There’re also show staff speaking anonymously, and some contestants whose identities you have to guess. With Love Is Blind season 5 next up, and some fans online saying they can’t support the show anymore, the full impact of the article has yet to be realized. Could this be the end for Love Is Blind, or just another news cycle? Let’s review the article and find out how on Love Is Blind‘s terrible show conditions explained.
Love Is Blind‘s Terrible Show Conditions Revealed — A Prison Experiment
Arguably the worst part of the Business Insider article is the description of how the casts are treated on set. We already know about the ridiculous amounts of alcohol and the pressure to have a golden glass in hand. But then you read about the background checks where people are screened for potential mental health triggers. In the words of season 2 participant Danielle Ruhl, who had disclosed her own mental health troubles, “Looking back I’m like, they are only doing that to check the box. They didn’t care.” She ended up having a miscarriage after the show due to the PTSD she was suffered from due to being on the show.
The article details how season 1 participant Brianna Holmes had a panic attack when her potential husband wavered on proposing. “They literally chased me off of the set to the trailers, cameras in my face,” Brianna said. There have been at least three other panic attacks and one other participant who was pressured to stay on the show despite having suicidal thoughts.
Producers allegedly badgered cast members for embarrassing details about past relationships. Business Insider also interviewed Jeremy Hartwell, who actually filed suit against Netflix last year alleging the same poor treatment described in the article. “They would elicit whatever emotional response they wanted, and they were very, very good at it,” he said. Other subjects talked about how painful subjects they disclosed became storylines, such as Danielle’s struggles with her weight. If you’re wondering why they didn’t just leave, the article confirms that there is a $50,000 fine for leaving and that couples were pressured to stay. Kinetic Entertainment, the production company behind the show, would collect this fee if they didn’t show up to their wedding without producer approval. This explains some “villain behavior” we saw on the show and the couples who clearly weren’t into one another dragging it out until their wedding day.
“The wellbeing of our participants is of paramount importance to Kinetic. We have rigorous protocols in place to care for each person before, during, and after filming,” Kinetic Content told E News! in a statement responding to the allegations. Netflix has yet to respond to the bombshell report publicly.
Love Is Blind: Horrific Show Conditions Revealed — Command And Control
Then there are all the little ways the staff kept the cast on edge. Apparently, for season 1, cast members were kept in cold, spartan trailers with bunkbeds where there was no privacy and reports of cockroaches. They were moved to hotels where PA’s stood guard outside their doors, but while they were travelling to the pods they couldn’t listen to music or call family. Producers would constantly tell them they would be portrayed positively, comparing them to Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton. You get the impression that the positive coverage of Lauren and Cameron existed just to influence other contestants to stay. And of course, there was the Fyre Festival like conditions of little food and water, detailed by Jeremy. Jeremy’s lawsuit also talks about how the contestants were paid less than half the minimum wage for eight weeks of appearances on the show.
Things didn’t get better after the show wrapped for the cast. Danielle says the show failed to provide any help with marriage counselling, which may have contributed to her divorce. If you watch that season’s vacation to Mexico, it looks like Danielle is upset with her husband Nick Thompson for talking to another woman. But, Danielle reveals that she was asked to stay in her room by producers over “concerns” she might have COVID. Nick apparently never knew about the COVID story and threw his microphone at producers when he found out. Brianna told Business Insider about quitting her job and demands that she be kicked out of church for being “the Antichrist.” And Jeremy’s lawsuit is ongoing, with Kinetic fighting him every step of the way.
Love Is Blind fans appear to have accepted that this is par for the course for reality. Things are unlikely to change unless fans demand changes.