Sometimes, even when a scandal is resolved, the people involved are haunted by rumor and resentments.
The Bachelor in Paradise sex scandal is, unfortunately, an example of that. DeMario Jackson is understandably bitter at how some portrayed him.
What’s more, he says that the “scandal” would never have happened if he’d been white.
Last June, just days into the first attempt at filming Bachelor in Paradise season 4, production was shut down after DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios had a drunken hookup in the pool.
The alleged problem, brought forward by two producers, was that they thought that a sexual assault had taken place, because Corinne and DeMario were both said to be pretty heavily intoxicated.
You can plan to hook up with somebody and drink, sure. But if you’re plastered, folks, you can’t consent.
Nobody involved was ever heard accusing DeMario of taking advantage of Corinne or Corinne of taking advantage of DeMario, but the lack of information did lead to a lot of rumors.
It didn’t help that Corinne was unable to remember what had happened.
The investigation found no evidence of sexual assault, and Corinne publicly expressed satisfaction with the findings, but apparently even that vindication hasn’t soothed all of the hurt feelings during the investigation.
Understandably, DeMario still feels a little bitter.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, DeMario Jackson says that the scandal never would have happened if he were white.
He suggests that the producers who expressed their concerns thought that they were seeing a narrative play out that wasn’t real.
“They wanted the angry black guy and this little, innocent white girl. But it wasn’t that.”
And before you say that it looks like DeMario is slut-shaming Corinne, he’s not.
(We’ll get to that)
“If I would have been [white contestants] Alex [Woytkiw] or Derek [Peth], we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”
Kind of awkward to name specific names.
(Also, it’s funny that he mentions those two, because Alex Woytkiw and Derek Peth look like they could be related)
DeMario laments his missed opportunities.
“I would probably be engaged to Alexis [Waters] right now.”
DeMario has mentioned before on Instagram that he has fond memories from his few days on Bachelor in Paradise.
One of those fond memories was throwing coconuts into the water with Alexis Waters at, like, 3am.
He apparently asked Alexis to marry him, but we don’t know at what point.
She turned him down, though.
We don’t think that DeMario is saying that he’d be engaged to Alexis if he were white, but rather that, if the scandal hadn’t happened, he’d be married to Alexis.
And … maybe? White privilege is a real thing, and it’s certainly the case that some people are more likely to call the police on interracial couples, alleging either kidnapping or prostitution. (Racism sucks, folks)
It’s always easy to imagine that your life would be better if that one thing hadn’t occurred. It’s not always true.
We just hope that DeMario doesn’t get hung up on this and, personally and professionally, can move past this.
DeMario has more to say about how things would have been if he were white.
“This wouldn’t have been a story.”
We’re not sure about that, because the producers who raised the (false) alarm may have been sensitive to a drunk woman hooking up rather than to DeMario’s race.
But was there racism involved in the backlash? Absolutely.
“We wouldn’t even be having this discussion at all. … I had white America calling me the N-word and telling me to ‘go back to Africa.'”
That is so sad.
We’ve spoken about how even DeMario’s mother was told hateful things.
Again, Corinne never once said anything bad about DeMario.
And DeMario is returning the favor, talking about how shamefully people talked about Corinne:
“And they were slut-shaming Corinne, which sucked.”
Racism and sexism combined to shame both people when there wasn’t even a sexual assault.
DeMario says that this has impacted his entire worldview.
“For me, I’m just sitting here thinking, ‘Wow. Our world.’ The human race continues to let me down.”
That is wildly relatable.
Like, there was a literal Nazi rally over the weekend that included a terrorist attack against counter-protesters.
“Wow, Our world” is right.