Love Is Blind contestant Jeremy Hartwell sues Netflix after cast was denied food, sleep, and water

A contestant in the second season of Netflix Love is blind The reality show series is suing streamers and the show’s producers, accusing them of violating labor laws, including fostering “inhumane working conditions” and underpaying actors. minimum wage.

The lawsuit, filed by Jeremy Hartwell, a Season 2 contestant, alleges Love is blind The producers poured alcohol on the cast and stripped them of food and water.

He also claimed the contestants were paid less than the Los Angeles County minimum wage.

The lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court in LA, names Netflix, Kinetic Content’s production company, and Kinetic’s casting company Delirium TV as defendants.

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Diversity Have reached out to Netflix and Kinetic Content for comment.

Hartwell, a director of a mortgage lender in Chicago, said it took him several days to recover from the effects of sleep deprivation, lack of access to food and water and copious amounts of alcohol. he is provided.

Love is blind Season 2 premieres on Netflix in February 2022.

According to the lawsuit, Love is blind Contestants should have been classified under California state law as employees rather than independent contractors because the manufacturers decided when, how, and how they worked.

During production, the producers paid the contestants a flat rate of $1,000 per week — despite forcing them to work up to 20 hours a day, seven days a week.

According to the complaint, that wage was just $7.14 ($10.60) per hour, well below the Los Angeles County minimum wage of at least $15 ($22) per hour.

Lovie season 1 features blind contestants Matt Barnett, Amber Pike, Cameron Hamilton, Lauren Speed, Giannina Gibelli, Damian Powers and Kelly Chase
Image: Part 1 of Love is Blind contestants Matt Barnett, Amber Pike, Cameron Hamilton, Lauren Speed, Giannina Gibelli, Damian Powers and Kelly Chase. The show was nominated for two Emmy Awards in 2020. (Getty Images for Netflix)

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The show’s producers “deliberately underpay the actors, deprive them of food, water, and sleep, get drunk, and cut off their access to personal contacts and most other the outside world,” said Payton Employment Law attorney Chantal Payton. The LA-based company represents Hartwell.

“This leaves actors hungry for social connection and changes in their emotions and decision making,” Payton continued.

Hartwell’s lawsuit on behalf of all participants Love is blind and other unscripted works created by the defendants in the past four years.

Payton Employment Law estimates the potential size of the class of claimants to be more than 100 individuals.

According to Hartwell’s lawsuit, the show’s contract requires the contestants to agree that if they leave the show before filming is complete, they will have to pay $50,000 in “liquidated damages.”

The lawsuit alleges that the reality show’s members “really fear reprisal and damage to their reputations for any resistance to the orders of the purse holders or that they do not aware of their rights.”

Love is Blind's VIP viewing party on Netflix
Hartwell alleges that he and the contestants were underpaid, denied breaks and drank alcohol during filming. (Getty Images for Netflix)

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Payton said in a statement provided by his attorney, “The reality show casting and production companies have more control over the contestants than the law allows a real worker to be treated as a contractor. independent, especially in shows where actors are said to be looking for love and affection.”

Kinetic content, in addition to Love is blindalso produces reality shows Finally: Marry or Continuepremieres this year on Netflix and Get Married at America’s First Look, created in 2014 and airs on Lifetime and streams on Netflix.

In Love is blindThe contestants – 15 boys and 15 girls – date each other from separate “groups” and chat over loudspeakers, unable to see each other.

The two contestants must be engaged before being allowed to meet in person.

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Love is blind just received a 2022 Primetime Emmy Award nomination for its structured reality show (and won two Emmys in 2020) and spawned a Brazilian and Japanese version.

Part 3 of Love is blindFilmed in Dallas, it is expected to air on Netflix later this year.

“The combination of sleep deprivation, isolation, lack of food and excessive alcohol consumption requested, permitted or encouraged by the defendants contributed to inhumane working conditions and altered mental states. for the cast,” Hartwell read the complaint.

“At times, defendants left cast members for hours without access to phones, food, or any other form of contact with the outside world until they were asked to return to work.”

Hartwell’s lawsuit seeks unpaid wages plus financial compensation for missed meals and time off, plus unspecified monetary damages for unfair business practices, and civil penalties for violations of labor rules.

The lawsuit was filed June 29 in the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles.

Nine Entertainment Co (publisher of this website) owns and operates the streaming service Stan.

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