Stacey Addo| Arts and Entertainment Editor
Love is Blind/ 2023/ Popculture.
The Netflix hit show Love is Blind premiered in February of 2020. The show calls itself an experiment to find out if love can truly be blind by gathering 15 men and 15 women and setting them up on blind dates. The catch, looks and physical attraction are taken out of the equation. The contestants go on dates in ‘pods' and don’t see each other until they decide they've built a deep enough connection with someone that they decide to get engaged. Only then can the contestants see who they’ve been talking to. They are kept in complete isolation from all the contestants of the opposite gender until everyone who has decided to has gotten engaged. As you can imagine, this leads to drama, messy relationships, uncomfortably cringy moments, and sometimes genuine love. The oddly perfectly timed show became a hit during the quarantine lockdowns. The show has been nominated for numerous Emmy nominations and Netflix has created versions of the show in Brazil and Japan.
Season 5 of the show is set to premiere on Sept. 22 and will take place with a whole new set of contestants from the Dallas, Texas area.
But aside from all of the drama that's on screen, in recent months, the show has been under fire for its hosts, Nick and Vanessa Lache, and claims coming out on the work conditions.
Back in April, Netflix attempted to do its first-ever live reunion special. The night itself was a disaster, filled with numerous delays and technical difficulties, eventually, the show decided to record live to tape with audiences at home being able to watch the reunion later time. But on top of the disappointment from the failed live reunion, audiences became agitated with the show's hosts Nick and Vanessa Lache. The audience felt as though the hosts were biased towards certain contestants. Contestants were sometimes cut off when speaking and felt attacked by the Laches. Even cast member Paul Peden called out the bias when it came to his relationship with Micah Lussier. In an article about this situation, he told ETOnline, “I was like, ‘F*** man.’ They kept drilling, drilling it down on me.” Fans were also put off by Vanessa’s repeated questions about children. On multiple occasions, Vanessa asked the current couples about their plans to have babies and how she was excited for the first Love is Blind baby. After bringing up the topic on multiple occasions, fans (including myself) started getting aggravated and thought it was inappropriate. After this debate, many wanted Netflix to replace the hosts, ideally, with Lauren and Cameron Hamilton. The couple met on the first season of the show, have had success since the show, and are beloved by fans.
Unfortunately for producers, this wasn’t the end of the public relations nightmare for Netflix. Just days after the reunion debacle, former contestants from the dating show alleged in an Insider report they had experienced inhumane working conditions and emotional distress on set. They accused the Love is Blind production team of subjecting them to 20-hour filming days and rarely allowed them to go outside, with the only exception being to use the bathroom in a trailer. They claim the production team also failed to provide an adequate amount of food, or any mental health services, even ignoring their pleas for help and constantly pumping the contestants with alcohol. The alumni recall often surrendering to exhaustion and falling asleep in the pods. We actually see on the show in Season 4 with contestant Tiffany when she falls asleep in the middle of a date. Season 2 contestant Nick Thompson told Insider, “ You thrust us into this situation without any support, and everything’s amplified… It literally ruins lives.” When these allegations came out the Love is Blind productions company Kinetic Content said to the Los Angeles Times, “The wellbeing of our participants is of paramount importance to Kinetic. We have rigorous protocols in place to care for each person before, during, and after filming.”
Former contestants of the reality show are still hoping for change and consequences for the production company. Based on how quickly new seasons are releasing, it seems like this season of the show was filmed well in advance, so the likelihood of things changing from the previous seasons is slim. Only time will tell whether Netflix decides to make some big changes to the show moving forward.
Carras, C. (2023, April 19). “Love is blind” alumni allege inhumane conditions; producers tout
“rigorous protocols.” Los Angeles Times. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-
Holmes, M. (2023, April 18). “Love is blind” fans want Nick & Vanessa Lachey replaced as
hosts. TV Insider. https://www.tvinsider.com/1089693/love-is-blind-nick-vanessa-lachey/
Warren, K. (2023, April 18). “Love is blind” is hell on earth: Contestants say producers
deprived them of food and sleep, preyed on their anxieties, and refused to let them
quit. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/love-is-blind-netflix-cast-reality-