Eric Hill: Did The Bachelorette Handle Cast Member Death Appropriately, or Exploit Him For Ratings?

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Eric Hill's tragic death after being eliminated from The Bachelorette this season put the show in a difficult position of deciding how much attention to give it.

Do you think they went too far, or handled it just right?

Hill died following a paragliding accident about three months ago, while the ABC reality show was still filming; it didn’t change the show’s outcome.

Andi Dorfman had already sent Eric home, but the news of his passing was bound to be jarring to her, and the guys who had been hiscompanions.

The producers of The Bachelorette dedicated the season to him and put out a statement mourning his loss, both classy and appropriate gestures.

Also, to conclude the episode in which he was sent home, Dorfman and Chris Harrison reflected on Eric rather than airing the usual rose ceremony.

Some felt these things were outweighed, though, by the fact that this week, ABC also televised the moment that they told Andi about Eric Hill's death.

While producers obviously had to tell her, the decision to air so much of the footage of Andi and the guys hearing about the tragedy has been criticized.

Some called it misguided, and a ploy for ratings - the moment of the big "reveal" was hyped up all night - that was disrespectful to the late contestant.

Not to mention that having everyone on camera for this put enormous pressure on Andi & Co. (particularly her) to have an appropriate response.

Having sent Eric home early after an argument in which he questioned her sincerity, Andi felt incredible guilt for having that be her their last conversation.

It thus becomes not about Eric but about Andi - who is no doubt sincere in her devastation over the loss of a great guy - who's put on the televised spot.

Harrison, the franchise's host for more than a decade, defends the decision, saying that failing to show this would have been much less respectful.

"There were those who didn’t think we should shoot it at all and not include this news. I vehemently disagreed," Harrison blogs this week on EW.

"I thought we should not only shoot it, but include it on this show for you to see as well. I knew this was going to be a brutally sad moment for all of us."

"That’s why I felt so strongly we should show it ... I felt strongly about this. First of all, I knew this was going to greatly affect all of us, especially Andi."

Chris goes on: "How could we not show or talk about an event that absolutely changed and affected everything and everyone on our show?"

"For 13 years we’ve built this franchise by showing you everything that happens, whether it’s good, bad, dramatic, or sad."

"I just didn’t see how all of a sudden because something so tragic affected all of us that we just wouldn’t show it; it didn’t make sense."

It was a no-win situation, he says, but this had to happen:

"What took place was horribly sad and tragic, but acting like it just didn’t happen and going on like Eric never existed seemed horribly dishonest and disrespectful."

"I don’t believe we get to choose in life what we get to deal with and what we don’t. I don’t believe you get to just act like things didn’t happen because it’s uncomfortable or sad."

"You have to take the good with the bad in life."

Do you agree? Comment and vote in our poll:

 

Eric
Eric Hill is the The Bachelorette contestant who passed away after the season, which has been dedicated to his memory.

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