Fans of “Love Is Blind” are shocked to hear the new allegations levied against producers of the hit Netflix reality dating show.
Season 2 contestant Jeremy Hartwell filed a lawsuit against Netflix and producers of the show, alleging that they underpaid cast members. Not only that, but he also alleges that they purposely deprived them of food, water, and sleep while filming.
‘Love Is Blind’ Producers Face Legal Action From Former Contestant
As Us Magazine reported on Wednesday, season 2 contestant Jeremy Hartwell filed a lawsuit against Netflix and the show’s producers alleging mistreatment. Hartwell was one of the 30 contestants selected to appear in season 2; however, he did not get engaged and was not featured in much of the footage shown.
Hartwell’s attorney, Chantal Payton of Payton Employment Law, PC, of Los Angeles, claimed in a statement on Wednesday, July 13 that producers committed multiple grievances against contestants on the show.
“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,” Payton alleged.
“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,” Payton continued.
Hartwell’s lawsuit is “a proposed class action on behalf of all participants in Love Is Blind and other non-scripted productions,” according to legal documents.
Contestant Claims They Were Only Given Alcohol, Energy Drinks & Soda While Filming
In the court documents, Hartwell alleges that “the only drinks that [the show] regularly provided to the cast were alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, energy drinks and mixers.” He claimed that “hydrating drinks such as water were strictly limited to the cast during the day.”
The contestant claimed that producers “contributed to inhumane working conditions and altered mental state for the cast” through a “combination of sleep deprivation, isolation, lack of food and an excess of alcohol all either required, enabled or encouraged” by those in power.
Hartwell also complained about being cut off from the outside world in the pods, saying, “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.”
Hartwell’s lawyer claims that “the exploitative working conditions served to control the participants’ conduct and elicited irrational behavior for entertainment value in the final project.”
In addition, the suit took issue with their salary and alleges that “Love Is Blind” contestants are paid less than minimum wage for the number of hours worked. The court documents allege that contestants can earn $1,000 per week, up to $8,000 dollars for the length of the show.
Season 2 Contestant Danielle Ruhl Has Also Alleged Mistreatment From ‘Love Is Blind’ Producers
As The Blast previously reported, back in May, season 2 contestant Danielle Ruhl made startling allegations against producers. She claims that she and her husband whom she met on the show, Nick Thompson, were deprived of food and water while filming.
“Just one more thing bc it’s hard getting this off my mind and Idk what I’m allowed to do anymore…” she began.
“There were 2 days they stopped giving Nick and I water and food in Mexico (We snuck to a neighbors through the swim up pool to get some),” she alleged.
“Me and Nick begged to leave Mexico bc of how bad everything was,” she continued. “I was so sick I was coughing up blood but wasn’t able to see a doctor.”
“Everyone made me believe that I should hate myself, and I didn’t, until they engraved it in my brain,” Ruhl added. “So watching what ur seeing is many ppl being tortured to fit a narrative preconceived.”
Season 3 of “Love Is Blind” has already been filmed but has yet to be released. It remains to be seen how these allegations will influence ongoing seasons.