A previous contestant is suing the producers of Love Is Blind. hoping for season 2 Netflix, the production company Kinetic Content, and the casting agency Delirium TV are the targets of Jeremy Hartwell’s lawsuit, which was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. His lawsuit charges the three businesses with several labor violations, including denying the cast of necessities.
According to the court document acquired by PEOPLE, “Defendants left members of the Cast alone for hours at a time without access to a phone, food, or any other sort of contact with the outside world until they were obliged to return to working on the show.”
The three businesses “further controlled the Cast by restricting food and drink at all hours of the day,” according to the lawsuit, and “frequently rejected timely food and water to the Cast while on set, severely limiting the availability of hydration opportunities.”
Food was scarce even in the hotel rooms, the lawsuit claims, to the point of extreme hunger. In order to ensure that the Cast would continue to go without meals while the production team was not there, the defendants gave the hotel personnel the express instruction to refuse food to any Cast member who begged for it out of hunger.
According to Hartwell’s lawsuit, the Cast was only “regularly provided with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, energy drinks, and mixers” by the companies. Water and other drinks were alleged “strictly limited to the Cast during the day.”
The corporations allegedly “encouraged” the cast members to “drink alcohol throughout the entire day” and “provided with an infinite supply of booze without meaningful or frequent access to appropriate food and water to reduce their inevitable drunkenness,” according to the paper.
Inhumane working circumstances and altered mental states for the Cast were caused by a mixture of sleep deprivation, isolation, a lack of food, and an excessive amount of alcohol, according to the lawsuit.
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The lawsuit asserted that the Love Is Blind crew engaged in the alleged wrongdoings “purposefully” in order to “keep a heightened degree of control and influence the conduct of the Cast into making manipulative decisions for the advantage of the show’s entertainment value.”
Delirium TV could not be reached for comment, and representatives for Netflix and Kinetic Content did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. But Hartwell’s lawyer addressed the situation in a statement that was given to PEOPLE.
“The cast members were purposefully underpaid, denied food, drink, and sleep, plied with alcohol, and denied access to friends, family, and the majority of the outside world. Cast members’ emotions and decision-making were affected by this, making them socially hungry “said Chantal Payton of Los Angeles’ Payton Employment Law, PC.
The contracts required candidates to consent that they would be fined $50,000 in “liquidated damages” if they quit the show before it had finished taping.
Given that some cast members would earn 50 times that amount over the course of their whole careers, Payton noted, “This clearly had the ability to engender terror in the cast and enable production to take even deeper control.”
The following is what Hartwell said in a statement to PEOPLE: “I suffered from sleep deprivation, social isolation, mental exhaustion, and what I can only refer to as an out-of-body experience as a result of being on the show. I would catch myself expressing things that went against what I was now thinking. I appeared and felt like a zombie for a few days after the production.”
The second season of Love Is Blind, which debuted earlier this year, included Hartwell. He was born in Chicago and has experience in the mortgage industry.
Hartwell stated on Instagram earlier this year that he saw the program as “a chance to challenge me and explore an opportunity that was foreign, even uncomfortable while changing my approach to dating when traditional approaches had failed.”
Following its 2020 debut, the well-liked reality series has been a smash for Netflix. Lauren Speed-Hamilton and Cameron Hamilton, Amber Pike and Matt Barnett, Iyanna McNeely and Jarrette Jones, Danielle Ruhl, and Nick Thompson are just a few of the many happy couples it has produced. Love Is Blind’s first two seasons are now accessible on Netflix.
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