Love is Blind producers deny mistreating contestants, withholding food, water & sleep

Apparently the set of Love is Blind is unpleasant even aside from the other contestants. Multiple participants have recently spoken out about the poor conditions on the set. In addition to whatever they’re going through with the other contestants, they’ve also claimed there is emotional manipulation by the producers and deprivation of essentials like food, water, and sleep. One former cast member has even filed a lawsuit accusing the production company of inhumane working conditions and low wages. The production company has, of course, denied his claims.

“Love Is Blind” is under fire. In a new report, multiple contestants spoke out about the conditions inside the Netflix series, produced by Kinetic Content, claiming that they have been put through “emotional warfare.”

In a report published by Business Insider on Tuesday, cast members spoke about their experiences on the show. Season 2 contestant Danielle Ruhl stated she was surprised she passed the psychological screening since she’d allegedly disclosed a past suicide attempt. Ruhl, who married and then divorced Nick Thompson, claimed that during filming, she tried to leave after having a panic attack, hiding in the closet and telling producers she didn’t feel mentally stable enough to stay: “I kept telling them, ‘I don’t trust myself. I’ve tried committing suicide before. I’m having suicidal thoughts. I don’t think I can continue in this.’”

The report also included claims that participants didn’t have enough access to food or water. Season 1 contestant Danielle Drouin alleged, “The sleep deprivation was real. I feel like they do it on purpose because they’re trying to break you. They want you on your edge.”

Kinetic Content responded to the report, telling Variety in a statement, “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.”

The latest story comes 10 months after former cast member Jeremy Hartwell filed a lawsuit against both the streaming service and production company, accusing the show of “inhumane working conditions” and low wages. Kinetic denied the allegations.

“Mr. Hartwell’s involvement in Season 2 of ‘Love is Blind’ lasted less than one week. Unfortunately, for Mr. Hartwell, his journey ended early after he failed to develop a significant connection with any other participant,” Kinetic said in a statement to Variety at the time. “While we will not speculate as to his motives for filing the lawsuit, there is absolutely no merit to Mr. Hartwell’s allegations, and we will vigorously defend against his claims.”

[From Variety]

Danielle Ruhl’s comments are, perhaps, the most damming. I don’t know whether her disclosing her past suicide attempt should have affected her presence on the show or not, but the fact that she disclosed suicidal ideation and asked to be removed while on the show and production ignored her is awful. And a total liability I would imagine, which is all these companies care about. I’m not really surprised about the copious amounts of alcohol provided. All reality shows do that in order to get better/messier content. But I am surprised they deprived the contestants of food, water, and sleep. Those are basic essentials and it’s not Survivor. And it’s a dating show and people need those three things to look their best. I know there have been issues with the alcohol on the Bachelor franchise and Are You the One?, but I really thought a production company affiliated with Netflix would run a tighter ship than that. Guess not.

Photos credit Netflix

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12 Responses to “Love is Blind producers deny mistreating contestants, withholding food, water & sleep”

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  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    The more stuff that comes out, the more I’m convinced…reality tv must die. It’s so irresponsible and intentionally manipulative of the “contestants” and “stars,” who have no recourse because they sign their lives away. Literally. No such contract should ever be able to stand up in court, and the way the producers intentionally emotionally injure contestants should be actionable both criminally and civilly. I hope this person wins his lawsuit and that all these shows start getting litigated into oblivion.

    That said, Shayne is a mess. And, what?! Deepti was doing blow with Shayne when Shake walked in, then denied it on her podcast but made fun of Shake for his own stint in rehab? None of these people is healthy emotionally or mentally and then they’re thrown to the wolves (us, the public), and left to their own devices. It’s sick.

    • H says:

      That and the fact that it’s said these overworked reality show filming crews are on tons of uppers to keep up with the filming schedule. Everyone is suffering except the people signing the checks.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      The whole premise of reality TV is twisted. They want troubled people and lean into making them more troubled for ratings. It’s been years since I watched any of them. The human need to rubber neck at a car wreck is exploited for maximum effect.

  2. girl_ninja says:

    I believe the allegations in this article.

    Years ago I used to faithfully watch a reality TV show called Starting Over with Iyanla Vanzant as one of the therapist. They had auditions in the city that I lived near at the time so I decided to audition. From what I saw this show only wanted people as problematic as possible. I hate to say that about other people because we all have issues right? But they were selecting drama and even people who sought other reality show appearances.

    If they did this back then in the early 2000’s then the selection process must be much more specific and targeted. It is clear to me that they select the most emotionally vulnerable and others who are pretty stable to mix it up.

    Honestly. This show could be AMAZING even if they didn’t just select for shock value. The idea of people connecting without seeing each other and really getting to KNOW one another without the physicality “getting in the way” is really intriguing and could really be done right in a serious, respectful and yes fun way. Also add women who are over a size 10! Various age ranges, and gay couples. People that reflect the world that we live in.

    • Bee says:

      I love Iyanla. I’m surprised to hear she was involved. Glad you didn’t get cast.

    • Noo says:

      But wasn’t Iyanla’s course a coaching show where they helped them to overcome issues and make major life changes? You want people to start from difficulty to make the watchable. But they learn and grow and achieve their desired goal with support…?

  3. Lizzie Bathory says:

    I’m sort of not surprised about the sleep deprivation or over-serving alcohol. It doesn’t make it ok, but it has been typical of reality TV for a long time. Failing to intervene when a contestant expresses suicidal ideation (especially after she disclosed her mental health history) is really, really dangerous. And depriving people of water? Awful.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Yes. The insistence of forcing Ms. Ruhl to continue filming and not making her mental health at the time paramount spells neglect as well as liable for her. Ms. Ruhl should have been immediately treated by a HC professional the moment she was found in the closet crying and having an episode of suicidal thoughts.

      These revelations into the filming of Love Is Blind is a foreshadowing tell they should cease any production immediately. Either go back to the drawing board and institute guidelines for everyone involved, including the filming crews, or nix the entire show.

  4. detritus says:

    You think these showrunners would have learned from Big Brother.

    The original train wreck that also deprived contestants of food, sleep, and constantly kept them on edge.

    There was a season where a young man was suicidal, and they also kept him on. There was a lawsuit and a huge overhaul of how they treat mental health.

    I mean, they did mostly ignore a man putting a knife to a woman’s throat during a makeout in Season 2.

    Treat people like people. It’s not that hard.

  5. Brassy Rebel says:

    Oh, wait for it! The British media is going to blame this on Harry and Meghan because it’s a Netflix show. They run Netflix as far as British tabloids are concerned.

  6. Concern Fae says:

    Yeah, this was going on even back in the reality talk show days. I remember learning how those shows were “cast” and that they looked for people who were totally deluded.

    I watched the first few seasons of Real Housewives of OC, where they mostly knew each other. It showed how getting a divorce meant losing your’s and your kid’s lifestyles. Lost interest when obviously “cast” strangers joined who were obvious shit stirrers.

  7. I was shocked at how much they allowed them to drink on love is blind. They are visibly quite drunk at some of the events.

    Now a days, most shows like love island and the bachelor, have a two drink per day maximum.