The Real Reason No One Wants To Join Bachelor In Paradise

Bachelor Nation is a mess. In spite of strides towards diversity, such as recently casting Matt James, the first Black Bachelor (via Variety), the franchise still has a lot of work to do. This was made especially clear after the recent controversy involving Matt's winner, Rachael Kirkconnell, who Matt broke up with after allegations of past racist behavior came to light. Longtime host Chris Harrison temporarily stepped down from the franchise following criticism after he defended Rachael.

The whole situation has become so sticky that Bachelor Nation is reportedly having trouble casting the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise. "Casting has begun and some members of Bachelor Nation are apprehensive to sign up," a source told E! News. "Some are wondering what direction the season will take and are curious if it will strictly focus on contestants falling in love."

Another source told the outlet, "They have put out several asks to Bachelor veterans. Many people are declining due to the current state of Bachelor Nation. A lot of people are removing themselves from the franchise."

Could the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise feature 'the best cast ever?'

At least one alum has joined the cast, Dr. Joe Park, who competed on the most recent season of The Bachelorette which featured Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams. Cosmopolitan noted that ABC's Rob Mills revealed Joe would be joining the show back in January, though, before the scandal took over Bachelor Nation.

Will Bachelor in Paradise be able to fill its roster? According to one insider, they're optimistic, despite the controversy and casting woes. "This could be the best cast ever," they told E! News. "There is talk of having two years' worth of cast due to no Bachelor in Paradise last year. They are in talks with multiple former leads. For the first time in franchise history, there will very likely be former Bachelors and Bachelorettes hitting the beach in Mexico."

It looks like we'll have to see what happens with casting, as well as how Bachelor Nation will handle the backlash from the scandal in upcoming seasons.