Love Is Blind Under Fire: Former Contestants Speak Out About Alleged Mistreatment Behind the Scenes
The popular Netflix dating reality series, Love Is Blind, has come under fire for its alleged mistreatment of contestants behind the scenes. Former contestants have recently spoken out about their traumatic experiences while filming the show in a report by Business Insider. Among the allegations are claims of mistreatment, trauma, and exhaustion, with some contestants saying they were not given adequate support for their mental health.
Danielle Ruhl, a contestant in Season 2, expressed her surprise at passing the psychological evaluation despite revealing her past suicide attempt. After marrying and divorcing Nick Thompson, Ruhl alleged that while filming, she attempted to depart due to a panic attack. She concealed herself in the closet and informed the producers that she lacked the mental stability to remain: “I persistently expressed my uncertainty, ‘I don't have faith in myself.'” I have attempted suicide in the past. Suicidal thoughts are occurring to me. Continuing in this seems impossible for me.‘”
Another season 2 contestant, Jeremy Hartwell, sued Netflix and the show's production company, Kinetic Content, in June 2022. Hartwell alleged that the pair committed violations of labor laws and exposed workers to working conditions that were both hazardous and cruel. In addition, he mentioned a shortage of nourishment, hydration, and rest during his time on the set of Love Is Blind. The filming environment was so brutal that Hartwell wound up suing Netflix and Kinetic Content, alleging they had violated labor laws and had exposed contestants to “unsafe and inhumane” working conditions. According to Hartwell, he was provided with a weekly allowance of $1,000 for the duration of the filming process, with a cap of $8,000. This equated to an hourly wage of approximately $7.14.
The production company behind Love Is Blind, Kinetic Content, released a statement responding to the allegations, saying, “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.” However, former contestants have spoken out about the lack of mental health support and the grueling working conditions they experienced while filming the show.
Love Is Blind is a dating reality show that centers on young singles dating and getting engaged sight unseen. The show has been renewed for a fifth season, and all four seasons are available to stream on Netflix. However, the recent allegations of mistreatment have raised questions about the ethics of reality TV and the responsibility of production companies to ensure the wellbeing of their contestants.
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2. “Dating Show ‘Love Is Blind' Was ‘Emotional Warfare,' Contestants Say” Business Insider, 18 Apr. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/love-is-blind-netflix-cast-reality-show-dating-mental-health-2023-4
3. “‘Love Is Blind’ Producers Respond to Contestants Claiming ‘Emotional Warfare’: ‘We Have Rigorous Protocols in Place’” Variety, 18 Apr. 2023, https://variety.com/2023/tv/news/love-is-blind-producers-respond-mistreatment-claims-1235587484/
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7. “‘Love Is Blind’ Contestants Claim Shooting Conditions Were Borderline Abusive” AOL, 20 Apr. 2023, https://www.aol.com/lifestyle/love-blind-contestants-claim-shooting-202200059.html
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