The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise contestant Jamie Doran is suing Channel 10 and Warner Bros. Australia over his perceived negative portrayal on both series.
And according to one documentary filmmaker, Gena Lida Riess, he could have a strong case.
The 40-year-old fireman took to Instagram, revealing his decision to take legal action.
“This is not the news I wanted to post, but I feel I owe this to at least my family, friends, and also fans of The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise,” Doran said in the statement.
“After lengthy consideration, I’ve decided to begin legal proceedings against Network 10 and Warner Bros. Australia.
“I’m not going to comment on this any further for the time being and would appreciate it if people would respect my privacy.”
Doran didn’t give away any other details on what specifically caused him to lawyer up, but fans speculate that his poor edit as a “stage 5 clinger” in the current season of Bachelor in Paradise was the main driver.
This isn’t the first time a reality TV contestant has taken issue with a poor edit, however thanks to a landmark ruling in 2019, contestants now have the option to sue if they suffer mental health problems as a result.
House Rules contestant Nicole Prince successfully sued Channel Seven over her portrayal as one of the “mean girls”, claiming she had been manipulated by producers and suffered a barrage of hate, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Reality TV villains
Viewers were quick to spout the old ‘fool me once’ argument, suggesting Doran should have known better, given he received a similar edit in Angie Kent’s season of The Bachelorette.
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So once again I have to deal with a bunch of negative criticism regarding my friendship / relationship with @brittneymweldon. I don’t feel like I need to explain myself, but public scrutiny has forced my hand. At no point am I ‘stringing her along’ in Paradise. Yes, I stand by my statement that ‘I can’t imagine waking up in Paradise without her’. Brittney is one of the most amazing, beautiful, & vibrant women that I’ve ever met in my life. It tears me at the core that people are challenging my validity with her. Obviously those of you who are judging me don’t know what type of man I am, & the core principles & ethics I stand for. At no time did I manipulate Brittney into giving me a rose, & if you don’t believe me you can DM her directly. I’ll cherish what I have with Brittney for the rest of my life. Before you cast judgement over what you see in an edit, please respect that I always have Brittney’s best interests at heart. Stop buying into the ninety minutes you see on television each night. Britt is no fool. If she didn’t see my authenticity, I would have been cast from Paradise a long time ago. I’m not asking for you all to love me (even like me), but please just understand that I think the world of Brittney.
A post shared by Jamie Doran (@jamiecdoran) on
Ms Reiss’ 2017 film Creating a Monster explores the construction of reality TV villains and the lasting psychological effects it has on those getting the short end of the editing stick.
“Certain contestants are used by the show to serve the show’s narrative,” Ms Riess told The New Daily.
“Humans are multifaceted and they’re not dramatic archetypes. They’re well-rounded human beings that have a history, and have negatives and positives – so being viewed by the world by a very simplistic stereotype is quite difficult.”
“In saying that, you can’t create a villain out of the nicest, most gentle, sweet person – they have to have qualities that will make them a villain but those aren’t necessarily bad qualities.
“That could be loudness, confidence, and for women that could literally just be assertive or direct.”
Ms Riess interviewed former TV villains David Witko (Sam Frost’s season of The Bachelorette), Sandra Rato (Sam Wood’s season of The Bachelor) and Clare Verrall (Married at First Sight season two), and said all three received overwhelming online hate and struggled to cope once the credits rolled.
— The Summer Belle (@chiclifeblog) September 25, 2015
“When you go on a reality show, you are cut and edited down to your best and worst qualities,” Ms Riess said.
“People seeing you as not a ‘fully-rounded’ person and not being able to forgive you, not showing you care, and having a mass audience – reality TV brings in some of the highest ratings in the country – to have all these people out there publicly disliking you and discrediting you can do really bad things for your mental health.”
A double dose of Bach
Doran’s decision to take legal action isn’t the only thing shaking things up in the Bachelor world.
Reality TV fanatics went into overdrive on Wednesday morning when this year’s talent was revealed for the upcoming season of The Bachelorette.
This season will feature not one, but two ladies looking for love, and it’s not the first time this has happened.
Elly Miles, 25, who was a contestant on astronomer Matt Agnew’s season of The Bachelor, will be joined by older sister Becky, 30, making franchise history as the first sister stars.
Luckily, we can look to our Kiwi neighbours for guidance, however their foray into the double-Bach format received mixed reviews and sparked a heated discussion about racism in reality TV.
The question on everyone’s mind is how exactly this is all going to work.
— Kristen Amiet (@KrissiAmiet) July 28, 2020
Channel 10 has been tight-lipped about the new format, leaving viewers to speculate on social media.
Will we see two rose ceremonies? Will the sisters be fighting over the same pool of men or will they split them up according to their ages like they did in the New Zealand version?
And most importantly, will Osher get a co-host? (Probably not, because he can handle anything).