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Love Is Blind Producers Accused Of Depriving Cast Of Food, Sleep, And Water

Netflix’s hit dating show Love is Blind is on a roll. a dating show hit. So much so that the second season of the show quickly followed the first. And before the second was even done airing, season 3 was already underway. But now some startling allegations are coming out of one season 2 contestant.

As reported by Page Six, contestant Jeremy Hartwell filed a lawsuit against Netflix and the producers of the show. He is alleging that the cast was mistreated during filming the show. Jeremy’s attorney, Chanel Payton, told the outlet, “They intentionally underpaid the cast members, deprived them of food, water and sleep, plied them with booze and cut off their access to personal contacts and most of the outside world. This made cast members hungry for social connections and altered their emotions and decision-making.”

She continued, “The contracts required contestants to agree that if they left the show before filming was done, they would be penalized by being required to pay $50,000 in ‘liquidated damages.’ With that being 50 times what some of the cast members would earn during the entire time that they worked, this certainly had the potential to instill fear in the cast and enable production to exert even further control.”

Jeremy’s lawyers said that the lawsuit serves as “a proposed class action on behalf of all participants in Love is Blind and other non-scripted productions” created by Kinetic Content from 2018 to 2022.

Court documents revealed that Jeremy claimed that “the only drinks that [the show] regularly provided to the cast were alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, energy drinks and mixers.” He also added that “hydrating drinks such as water were strictly limited to the cast during the day.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the popular show contributed to “inhumane working conditions and altered mental state for the cast.” And that they did so through combination of sleep deprivation, isolation, lack of food and an excess of alcohol all either required, enabled or encouraged” by production. And that contestants were not allowed to contact family or friends during filming. Which is common for many reality tv competitions.

Court documents continued, “At times, defendants left members of the cast alone for hours at a time with no access to a phone, food, or any other type of contact with the outside world until they were required to return to working on the production. The exploitative working conditions served to control the participants’ conduct and elicited irrational behavior for entertainment value in the final project.”

As for being paid, the suit claims that Love is Blind contestants earned $1,000 per week. And up to $8,000 for the entirety of filming. Which allegedly equals less than minimum wage given the amount of hours they film. Documents state, “Defendants failed and continue to fail to compensate Class Members and Aggrieved Employees for all hours worked, including minimum wage and overtime hours, as a result of maintaining a practice of requiring Class Members and Aggrieved Employees to work up to twenty (20) hour days, seven days per week, while paying them a flat amount of $1,000.00 per filming week.”

The suit added, “Resultantly, these workers were effectively [paid] as little $7.14 per hour which is less than half of the applicable minimum wage rate of $15.00 per hour, less than one-third of the minimum overtime rate of $22.50 per hour, and less than one-fourth of the minimum double-time rate of $30.00 per hour pursuant to the applicable Los Angeles City and County minimum wage ordinances.”

Jeremy wasn’t exactly memorable given that he appeared on the show with 29 other contestants. He did not get engaged, nor was he featured past the pod stage of the show. Which Kinetic Content was quick to point out in a statement to Page Six. A spokesperson said, “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.”

The statement continued, “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.”

Even with Jeremy’s allegations, he promoted the show on his social media prior to its release. In one Instagram post, he wrote, “Filming for Love is Blind was one of the most intense and memorable events of my life and thanks to journaling and reflection, it remains an experience that I’m at peace with, regardless of the ups and downs.”

“Not exactly what I was hoping for in my one big moment on @loveisblindnetflix, but it brings new meaning to Netflix and chill,” he shared in another post. He then encouraged fans to watch the show.


[Photo Credit: Netflix]