BREAKING NEWS

'Love Is Blind' Contestant Jeremy Hartwell Sues Netflix, Claims Participants Were 'Deprived' Of Food & Water

'Love Is Blind' Contestant Sues Show Over Lack Of Food & Water
Source: Netflix

Jul. 13 2022, Published 3:49 p.m. ET

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Jeremy Hartwell, a former contestant on Netflix’s Love is Blind, has sued the reality TV show in connection to numerous alleged labor abuses on set, Radar has learned.

In a shocking development that comes shortly before season three of the hit show is scheduled to premiere this year, Hartwell reportedly filed a lawsuit – on behalf of all the show’s contestants plus similar participants on other reality TV shows – against Netflix, the show's production company, Kinetic Content, and the program’s casting company, Delirium TV.

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'Love Is Blind' Contestant Sues Show Over Lack Of Food & Water
Source: Netflix

“The only drinks that defendants regularly provided to the cast were alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, energy drinks and mixers. Hydrating drinks such as water were strictly limited to the cast during the day,” the class action lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in June, stated.

“The combination of sleep deprivation, isolation, lack of food, and an excess of alcohol all either required, enabled or encouraged by defendants contributed to inhumane working conditions and altered mental state for the cast,” the suit added.

Although Hartwell was not featured in the show’s second season because he failed to get engaged, he was still reportedly filmed and kept on set for one week – which is when he was allegedly isolated from the outside world and deprived of adequate food and water.

Hartwell also alleged that contestants were forced to “give up all forms of identification, wallets, phones, cash, and credit and debit cards” to the show’s producers in an effort to ensure the participants could not willingly leave on their own accord.

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'Love Is Blind' Contestant Sues Show Over Lack Of Food & Water
Source: Netflix

“To force the Casts’ cooperation with this instruction, Defendants also did not allow any of the Cast members to hold a key to their own hotel rooms to prevent them from leaving their hotel rooms,” the class action lawsuit also stated.

“Defendants were encouraged to consume alcohol throughout the entire day,” and were "plied with an unlimited amount of alcohol without meaningful or regular access to appropriate food and water to moderate their inevitable drunkenness.”

According to Hartwell’s lawyer, Chantal Payton, Love is Blind also “exploited” the show’s participants by classifying them as independent contractors – something that is allegedly also a problem on other reality TV shows.

Love Is Blind is not the only reality show that exploits its cast members by misclassifying them as independent contractors,” Payton told Daily Beast.

“Reality show production and casting companies exert a lot more control over the contestants than the law allows for a worker to truly be considered an independent contractor,” she added, “especially in shows where cast members are supposedly searching for love.”

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'Love Is Blind' Contestant Sues Show Over Lack Of Food & Water
Source: Netflix

The lawsuit also claimed that participants were only paid $1,000 a week despite working more than eight hours a day and seven days a week. Contestants were also allegedly forced to pay $50,000 in “liquidation damages” if their contracts were broken.

“With that being 50 times what some of the cast members would earn during the entire time that they worked,” Hartwell’s lawyer told the outlet, “this certainly had the potential to instill fear in the cast and enable production to exert even further control.”

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