‘Love Is Blind’ contestants open up about conditions on the show
Participants have complained about things from holding back food, little to no sleep, exhaustive camera time and even psychological trauma
The social experiment, “Love is Blind,” has quickly become one of the most popular shows on Netflix since its launch in early 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, reported The New York Times.
At the show’s fourth-season reunion, co-hosts Nick and Vanessa Lachey got a lot of attention on social media for being “awkward,” showing favoritism, leading contestants and worst of all, asking when the couples plan on having babies, per Today.
Season 4 participant Paul Peden had recently left Micah Lussier — his fiance who he met on the show — at the altar and was being interviewed by Vanessa Lachey during the reunion, reported Today.
During that interview, Peden was asked to explain why he broke up with Lassier and why he hadn’t shared his concerns earlier, per an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
Peden told ET that he thought Vanessa Lachey “might have had a little bit of personal bias” because “she continued to drill into” his response. “I think it was extremely reductive in the way that they dismissed all nuance and complexity in why I said no,” he shared of his breakup.
Lachey sent an apology to Peden for the “accidental misleading,” reported Today.
More than 20,000 fans signed a Change.org petition as of Wednesday at 10 a.m., that asks producers to help “the show evolve into the best version of itself by removing Nick and Vanessa Lachey as hosts and replacing them with ... well, literally anyone else.”
What complaints have been made against ‘Love is Blind?’
The show has had multiple lawsuits and complaints over the years from differing contestants, including one from Season 2 contestant Jeremey Hartwell in 2022, per NBC New York.
The lawsuit, per NBC, said “Love is Blind” producers intentionally “altered cast members’ emotions and decision-making” to make the outcome more entertaining for viewers by depriving contestants of food, water, sleep and social contact with the outside world. All while offering alcoholic beverages, mixers and energy drinks, but rarely water, the lawuit alleges.
Contestants were working close to 20 hours a day during filming, reported Rolling Stone.
Kinetic Content, which partnered with Netflix on the social experiment, told Rolling Stone that “rigorous protocols” are in place to “care for each person before, during and after filming.”
“The sleep deprivation was real,” said Danielle Drouin, a contestant on the first season, per Rolling Stone. “I feel like they do it on purpose because they’re trying to break you. They want you on your edge.”
Even when Season 2 contestant Danielle Ruhl said she tried to withdraw because of mental health concerns, producers pushed her to stay on the show, per Rolling Stone. She got married that season and later filed for divorce.
Per the lawsuit filed by Hartwell, participants are paid about $1,000 a week, up to $8,000 total, reported NBC New York. But, if participants leave the show early “without producer approval,” they must pay a $50,000 penalty.
Will there be a Season 5 of ‘Love is Blind’?
Seasons 1 through 4 are on Netflix and Season 5 has been confirmed, although not a lot of details are known yet, reported Cosmopolitan. But based on previous release dates, Season 5 is expected to be released around November.