The popular TV show “The Bachelorette” premiered its 20th season on Monday night, but it was the first season without the involvement of franchise creator Mike Fleiss. However, viewers were surprised to see Fleiss’ name still appearing in the credits when the episode concluded.
In previous seasons, Fleiss was credited as an “executive producer” and his production company, Next Entertainment, was mentioned. But this time, his name appeared at the very end of the credits accompanied by the words “created by.” This change in positioning raised questions among the audience.
According to sources, the reason for Fleiss’ inclusion in the credits is contractual. Despite his departure, Fleiss is still recognized as the creator of “The Bachelor” franchise. In the entertainment industry, it is common for creators to be credited on their projects, even if they are no longer actively involved.
Warner Bros. TV, the studio behind the show, declined to comment on the matter, leaving fans speculating about the exact circumstances of Fleiss’ departure.
Earlier this year, Fleiss and the franchise parted ways. While no specific reason was given for his exit at the time, reports from Variety indicated that an investigation into allegations of racial discrimination and bullying behavior played a role in his departure. Multiple employees had reportedly filed complaints against Fleiss, leading to a thorough investigation conducted by an external party. The investigation revealed concerns about Fleiss’ behavior and his resistance to fostering diversity within the franchise.
Despite being credited as the franchise’s creator, Fleiss is no longer involved with any of the shows, including the current season of “The Bachelorette.”
Variety previously reported that Fleiss would retain his creator credit, but the specifics of his ongoing compensation were not disclosed during their investigation in March.
“The Bachelor” franchise, which includes shows like “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette,” and “Bachelor in Paradise,” has been a massive success since its debut in 2002. It has also spawned various spin-offs, such as “Bachelor Pad” and “The Bachelor Winter Games.” In total, Fleiss’ franchise has produced a remarkable 60 seasons of television.
With the new season of “The Bachelorette,” the show is now led by showrunners Claire Freeland, Jason Ehrlich, and Bennett Graebner. These individuals have collectively taken over the reins from Fleiss. The 20th season features Charity Lawson as the leading lady, making her the fourth Black woman to take on the role in the dating show’s history.
In summary, the latest season of “The Bachelorette” aired without Mike Fleiss, the franchise creator, who had recently departed amid allegations of discrimination and bullying. However, contractual obligations still credit him as the show’s creator. The specific reasons for his departure and the exact terms of his ongoing involvement remain undisclosed. The popular franchise continues under new leadership, and the current season features Charity Lawson as the Bachelorette, representing a step towards increased diversity on the show.