Drunk, Hungry, and Sleep Deprived: ‘Love Is Blind’ Contestants Claim Producers Put Them Through Hell
In its four-season run, the Netflix original reality show Love Is Blind hasn’t been able to definitively answer its titular question: Is love blind? But according to a new report from Insider, producers have managed to make many contestants regret signing up for the series in the first place. Several former cast members of the Netflix reality series told Insider that their time on the show was characterized by a lack of food, water, sleep, an excess of alcohol, and “emotional warfare” from producers.
For those unaware of Love Is Blind‘s premise, congratulations and apologies for ruining your peace: Singles date and get engaged without ever seeing each other, relying entirely on the emotional connection they’ve built while communicating via “pods.” Once in the real world and after a short honeymoon, the couples will move in with each other and decide if they want to legally bind their relationship and get married after just a few weeks of knowing each other.
While the show has been billed as an attempt to avoid some of the superficial problems modern dating brings, contestants told Insider that they were required to push themselves to the limits during the process. The report detailed complaints of la ack of access to sunlight, water, and food during the 10-day filming schedule allegedly ignored by the show’s production company, Kinetic Content. Cast members added that they were required to film up to 20 hours every day, which left them desperate for sleep, a condition that wasn’t helped by production’s constant pushing of alcohol.
“They would run out of food,” said cast member Danielle Ruhl. (Ruhl got married in Love Is Blind Season 2 but filed for divorce in August 2022.)”I remember every time we’d get to the freaking kitchen, there’d be like one hard-boiled egg, and it was like a fight to see who could actually get the stuff.”
“The sleep deprivation was real,” Danielle Drouin, a contestant on the first season, added. “I feel like they do it on purpose because they’re trying to break you. They want you on your edge.”
Netflix did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
“The wellbeing of our participants is of paramount importance to Kinetic,” Kinetic Content tells Rolling Stone in a statement. “We have rigorous protocols in place to care for each person before, during, and after filming.”
Past show participants also detailed an emotional intensity pushed by producers, saying they were constantly discouraged from attempting to leave the show, even when they said they were experiencing poor mental health. According to Insider, people who leave the experiment “without producer approval ” were required to pay a fine of $50,000— another incentive to keep filming despite increasing levels of discomfort.
Ruhl added that producers pushed her to stay on the show, even when she had a panic attack, and expressed concern that the filming was making her anxiety worse.
“I kept telling them, ‘I don’t trust myself,'” she said. “‘I’ve tried committing suicide before. I’m having suicidal thoughts. I don’t think I can continue in this.'”
This isn’t the first time the series has come under fire. In June 2022, former cast member Jeremy Hartwell filed a lawsuit against Netflix and Kinetic Content. The suit accused the streaming service and production company of subjecting its cast to “inhumane working conditions” and poor wages for a grueling schedule.
And on Sunday, an attempt by Netflix to host a live reunion of the Season 4 cast was plagued by technical difficulties that saw the show starting hours after its premiere— and frustrated thousands of ready viewers. And even after contestants leave the show, the months of healing they’ve detailed make it feel like the Netflix show is asking the wrong question. No one cares if love is blind. But is a mid-at-best Netflix dating show really worth ruining people’s lives?