“Someone met me and then texted me very quickly, you know, ‘I have a boyfriend, but I think you’d be really cool on the show I’m going to pick, are you interested?'” Hartwell recalls in an interview with CNN.
While he can’t say for sure that a casting agent was out there looking for potential contenders, he claims that most of the cast in the second season of Netflix’s Love Is Blind, the show cast, didn’t actually perform on their own.
“They were reached in one way or another on social media,” fellow cast members told him.
“Love Is Blind,” which was nominated for an Emmy this week for outstanding structured reality show, features 15 men and 15 women who are placed in individual isolation rooms or “capsules,” where they are paired with a contestant in a separate room. Then they hold talks to see if they can spark a connection with someone – and eventually get engaged – without actually seeing them.
Hartwell says he agreed to appear on the show after checking the agent’s Instagram account and job.
“Actually, I’ve never really been so interested in reality TV,” Hartwell says. “You know, it’s never been so interesting to me.” “But I do have a personal philosophy of seeking new experiences, challenging myself, and doing things that seem intimidating—and that kind of fit all the criteria out there. I decided to put my hat in the ring. I never actually thought I’d do a cast.”
Hartwell’s experience with the second season of “Love Is Blind” began in April of 2021, when producers booked him on an early morning flight from Chicago to Los Angeles.
“When filming started, the trip was very, very early [a few of] We and I thought this was to separate men and women, so we wouldn’t see each other,” he says, adding that things became ‘inconvenient’ almost ‘immediately’.
“We were constantly asked not to talk to each other, not to talk about things while we were waiting for people to finish getting their bags and ride the shuttle to be taken to routing,” he says, as some of the show participants were commuting at the same time.
Contestants were reminded not to communicate with each other, says Hartwell, even amicably.
After an introductory speech from the producers, Hartwell said that the contestants’ properties were searched and their cell phones, wallets and IDs confiscated.
“They told us they were going to take our cell phones, so that was to be expected, but confiscating our wallets, our passports and any identifying information, it was very unexpected,” he says, adding, “They rubbed me the wrong way.”
“They went through all our baggage—if you ever watched a military movie, boot camp, they just went through a recruit’s baggage, but that’s exactly what it was. They went through every single one of our belongings, probably to make sure there wasn’t some kind of contraband. “.
After that, Hartwell says the producers moved everyone to their separate hotel rooms.
“We were basically locked in the room,” he says. “The first thing they did was isolate us in our rooms for 24 hours straight.”
Hartwell claims that snacks and water were so scarce that they had to wait hours for fresh water if they were thirsty.
On the second day, the staff took informational photos and videos.
“Most of the activity involved big waiting times,” Hartwell says.
Once production began, Hartwell claims that he tried to combat the effects of sleep deprivation after many hours of filming under bright lights. Hartwell says he had no access to food and water on his way back to the hotel, but alcohol was available—and even encouraged on an empty stomach.
In June, Hartwell sued Netflix, Kinetic Content and Delirium TV, the production and acting company behind the show, for a number of labor law violations, including “inhuman working conditions” and inadequate pay for the number of broadcast hours. members work.
Netflix did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
In a statement to CNN in response to Hartwell’s complaint, Kinetic Content and Delirium TV wrote: “Mr. Hartwell’s participation in season two of ‘Love is Blind’ lasted less than a week. Unfortunately, for Mr. Hartwell, his journey ended early after he failed to Develop an important relationship with any other participant. While we will not anticipate his motives for bringing the suit, there is absolutely no merit to Mr. Hartwell’s allegations, and we will vigorously defend his allegations.”
Hartwell’s attorney, Chantal Payton of Payton Employment Law in Los Angeles, told CNN that the lack of adequate food and isolation “made the cast members starved for social connections and altered their emotions and decision-making.”
The class action proposed by Hartwell is on behalf of all participants in “Love Is Blind” and other unwritten products created by the defendants over the past four years. He is seeking unpaid salaries, monetary compensation for missed meal breaks, monetary compensation for unfair business practices, and civil penalties for labor law violations.
Motion content is also producing “The Ultimatum: Marry Or Move” and “Married At First Sight,” both of which are streaming on Netflix.
Season 3 of “Love Is Blind” will air on Netflix later this year.
As for Hartwell, he says he hopes to change the practices of some reality shows in the future.
“It’s a matter of justice, not money to me,” Hartwell says. “It’s not about space.” “I feel very strongly that these practices are wrong and should be changed. The reason I’m making these efforts with this lawsuit is that I hope this becomes a catalyst for these changes, so that future reality TV cast members don’t have to go through this.”
“Typical organizer. Incurable baconaholic. Internet expert. Unapologetic twitter buff.”