Do ‘Bachelor’ Producers 'Manipulate' Contestants? Alums Weigh In

It’s safe to say not every Bachelor or Bachelorette contestant has the same journey on the ABC dating show, but some are more vocal about their experience — and the producers.

Dylan Barbour, who competed on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette in 2019, made headlines in January for accusations about what goes down behind-the-scenes. In addition to accusing producers of editing the show to “warrant bullying,” alleging that the lead doesn’t have any control over roses and claiming that cast members aren’t allowed to “sleep normal hours,” Barbour wrote that Jed Wyatt was the most “screwed over” cast member on Brown’s season. He concluded that producers “don’t care about people.”

Following season 15, Barbour appeared on season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise and met fiancée Hannah Godwin. Two days after his Twitter rant, he deleted his tweets and backtracked.

“This past weekend I got into the discussion of being in the public eye and its effects on mental health,” he told Us Weekly in an exclusive statement on February 2. “I’ve seen a lot of people thrust into this level of notoriety, and with it comes immense scrutiny. And those same friends have had their mental health suffer tremendously from it.”

He added: “With that said, I believe the way the message was delivered was wrong. I’m appreciative of the franchise and the platform given to me, and that was not reflected.”

While several former contestants have supported Barbour’s claims, other alums, including former leads Ben Higgins, Rachel Lindsay and Arie Luyendyk Jr. have shot down his accusations that the Bachelor or Bachelorette isn’t in control.

“I like Dylan. And I know he’s coming from a place where he wants to help. I think it could’ve been done maybe in a little bit of better way. But the show’s been good to me,” the season 20 Bachelor said on the 7:40 Celebrity Lounge in February. “I can’t sit here and say the show hasn’t been good to me, it has. And I think people can argue, ‘Well, of course, the show’s been good to you but it doesn’t mean it’s good to everybody,’ and I agree with that … I know people who have been hurt from it.”

Lindsay, the season 13 Bachelorette, suggested that Barbour was just looking for attention.

“I never felt manipulated. I never felt like I was being taken advantage of,” the MTV’s Ghosted: Love Gone Missing host told Us in February. “When I see people say that, I’m almost like, ‘That’s on you, that you felt like you fell for that type of scenario. I don’t know if you’re trying to get attention. I’m not sure if, you know, like, you’re trying to excuse some of the decisions you made, but we are all grown people. You made those decisions for whatever reason it is. Don’t try to now go blame it on somebody else.’”

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