Love Is Blind
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Love Is Blind Season 5: Contestant Suing for Sexual Assault, Creator Responds

Netflix’s Love Is Blind has earned an unfortunate reputation for the rough, behind-the-scenes experience the contestants claim to endure. Multiple contestants have spoken out about being treated poorly while filming. The latest accusations coming out of Season 5 are particularly insidious.

Tran Dang filmed Season 5, but she isn’t featured in any of the episodes. According to People, she sued Kinetic Content, the production company behind Love Is Blind, after claiming that she was sexually assaulted on set by her then-fiancé, Thomas Smith. Tran said that Kinetic Content did nothing to stop the assault and was falsely imprisoned.

There’s a nasty legal battle underway between the two parties. Chris Coelen, the CEO of Kinetic Content has spoken out about the allegations, and he isn’t making the situation any better. If anything, he’s making himself and his company look worse.

Disturbing details from Love Is Blind Season 5

In Tran’s complaint, she argued that she wasn’t even excited about joining Love Is Blind, and she claimed that the casting team “aggressively” recruited her. She eventually agreed, just to be thrown into an uncomfortable filming situation fueled by lots of alcohol and little food.

The lawsuit read, “While on set, for up to 18 hours per day, [Kinetic Content and Delirium TV] required Ms. Dang to request permission to do virtually anything, including use the restroom. She was prohibited from leaving her hotel room without express permission and kept under 24-hour surveillance.”

The Kinetic Content CEO disputed that claim and said that it was “preposterous” because according to him, they don’t film all day. He also argued that there’s a valid reason for not allowing people to use the bathroom when they want. He claimed it prevents people from wandering around the set and going into the other living quarters.

According to the lawsuit, Tran and Thomas got engaged when they were in the pods. They flew off to Mexico for the next phase of the experiment. That’s when Thomas allegedly assaulted his fiancée.

“Smith, and without Ms. Dang’s consent, forcefully groped her, exposed himself in the nude, and repeatedly made sexual contact over her express objections,” the complaint said. They also added that because of [Kinetic Content and Delirium TV’s] 24-hour surveillance of cast members, most, if not all, of these traumatic acts were likely captured on film.”

Tran said that after the assault, she tried to flag the issue to producers. She said her complaints were ignored, so she decided to quit the show. Her lawsuit alleged that the producers forced her to film one final scene, where they fed her lines. She left the show and went straight to a lawyer.

Kinetic Content responds

Although he wasn’t there, Kinetic Content’s CEO shared a different perspective on Tran’s experience. Rather than supporting the victim, he told People that her claims were untrue.

“She did not make any kind of claim of assault of any kind,” Chris argued. “We would not continue filming with someone who was expressing that an incident of that sort had happened. We have round-the-clock psychologists, a highly trained production team, we have a whole battalion of people whose job it is to make sure that we prioritize our participants’ well-being. But the participant has to be actively involved in that process.”

So, if you’re keeping track, the CEO behind Love Is Blind claimed that the victim is lying. Then, he essentially blamed her for not being loud enough when trying to flag the issue to producers. Why would he go to a major publication and make such a claim while there’s a pending lawsuit? According to Chris, it’s all about defending the company.

“We will vigorously defend ourselves. I’m not in a position to speculate about what happens with adults on their own time behind closed doors,” Chris said. “I’m not saying her allegations of sexual assault are or are not true. I’m not in a position to say that. I’m truly supportive and empathetic of people who make these claims.”

This is certainly an interesting way to show your empathy and support, Chris. We’ll see how this plays out in court. In the meantime, Love Is Blind Season 5 is streaming on Netflix.

No means no. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).