When members of Bachelor nation sign up for a stint in Paradise, they anticipate a wild time when they land on the coast of Mexico. But if things get too out of control on set, producers will step in, according to a former contestant on the ABC Bachelor/ette spinoff.
“It’s not unprecedented that people would get drunk and hook up on the show — it happens all the time,” former BiP contestant Ryan Beckett tells PEOPLE about his experience on season 3.
On Monday, two sources confirmed to PEOPLE that BiP season 4 was suspended after producers allegedly filmed DeMario Jackson — he was eliminated from the current season of The Bachelorette — in a sexual encounter with a female contestant who may have been too drunk to consent. (PEOPLE is not naming the other person involved in the alleged sexual encounter because she could be the victim of alleged sexual misconduct.)
According to Beckett, who also appeared on Kaitlyn Bristowe‘s season 11 of The Bachelorette, the show has a “college”-like party feel, and alcohol is readily available to contestants.
“People drink like they were in college or on a cruise. They go out and they drink more because they don’t have to drive, they’re on vacation. I think people indulge more a lot more than they normally would,” says Beckett. “We’d just go up to the bar and order a margarita or whatever. So it was always available, but it definitely was never forced on us.”
Following news of the halted production, sources connected to Jackson told TMZ that one of the story lines on season four of BiP would be Jackson and the unnamed female contestant hooking up. The source also told TMZ that “everything was fine” after the drunken sexual encounter and that Jackson and the woman continued to get along.
But in Beckett’s experience on the reality series, producers wouldn’t specifically encourage sexual interactions to take place between contestants.
“They encourage men to be more open. So I didn’t get any encouragement to go sleep with a girl or to go hook up with a girl, but I definitely had encouragement in terms of moral support to boost my confidence,” explains Beckett. “It might be surprising, but I really think that they try to keep it, relatively speaking, as genuine as possible. They may insert an idea in your head, but they want it to come from you more than anything. There’s some leading the horse to water, but at the end of the day, it’s always the cast that has to decide if they want to drink or hook up.”
Beckett also recalls producers getting involved during his time on Bachelorette when they felt like a line was being crossed with a specific contestant.
“In my experience, the producers definitely step in,” says Beckett, who adds of BiP, “I felt like they definitely had it under control.”
Following the incident, Warner Bros. released a statement announcing that production had been halted over the alleged “misconduct.”
“We have become aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico,” Warner Bros. said in a statement. “We have suspended production and we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations. Once the investigation is complete, we will take appropriate responsive action.”
While the investigation is still ongoing, Beckett says he would be surprised if producers had witnessed “something nefarious” during filming and allowed it to continue.
“I would not imagine that a number of producers would stand idly by. I would expect two drunk contestants to do something stupid,” says Beckett, who adds, “but it would be surprising to me that something nefarious was going on and it was allowed to go on.”
In the wake of the show’s suspension, a source told PEOPLE that there’s a possibility that it could be canceled.
“The show is most likely not going to resume filming,” a production source told PEOPLE exclusively. “It would seem impossible to do so given the circumstances.”
“But the main reason it will likely not be back is that the majority of the bill for the show is footed by the Mexico Tourism Board,” continued the source. “They pick up the tab for practically everything in exchange for all the free publicity the show gives them — but is not a good look and is not likely to be something Mexico Tourism wants to welcome back.”