'Bachelor' Creator Michael Fleiss Is 'Horrified' by Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Contestants
By Zach Seemayer
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
Reality show producer Mike Fleiss is speaking out about two contestants on two on his reality shows who have recently made headlines for alleged sexual misconduct.
Fleiss -- who created and produces The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and ABC's most recent reality dating show, The Proposal -- took to Instagram on Sunday to express his dismay over the casting of two controversial male contestants.
"For the record, I am horrified that any of these abusive a**holes are on our shows," Fleiss tweeted. "We are working very hard to find ways to do better."
The remark comes a day after Fleiss took heat for a previous tweet he shared after news that The Proposal's second episode had been pulled by ABC after allegations were leveled against contestant Michael J. Friday, claiming that he had facilitated the sexual assault of a woman in 2017.
"How are we supposed to find out about something that’s never been reported??? #TheProposal," Fleiss tweeted on Saturday. His initial remarks were met with a wave of criticism, accusing him of trying to shirk responsibility for his shows' questionable casting.
How are we supposed to find out about something that’s never been reported??? #TheProposal
Late last week, ABC pulled the second episode of The Proposal after a Milwaukee woman went public with allegations that Friday lured her into being sexually assaulted last November.
The accuser, Erica Denae Meshke, posted a lengthy statement on Facebook on Thursday claiming that she agreed to meet Friday in the entertainment room of an apartment complex after matching on Tinder.
She claims that when she arrived, Friday was with "two other 50ish year-old men" and eventually left her alone with them. Meshke now believes that one of the drinks she accepted from the men was spiked, and she claims that she was sexually assaulted by the two men.
In response, ABC and Warner Horizon announced that they would not be airing the episode featuring Friday.
"An allegation has been made against a contestant on next week’s episode of The Proposal," ABC and Warner Horizon told ET in a joint statement on Friday. "While the accusation was not related to the contestant’s appearance on the program, we take it very seriously. ABC and the producers of The Proposal are pulling the episode while this matter is under review."
The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office told ET, in a statement released in May, that Adim -- who is likely one of the people Fleiss was referring to as an "abusive a**hole" in his recent tweet -- was ordered by a judge to "stay away from the victim and attend three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week" and that, due to the conviction, Adim is "expected to register as a sex offender."
Warner Bros. issued a statement to ET earlier this month, revealing that they are investigating why the incident didn't appear on his background check.
"No one on The Bachelorette production had any knowledge about the incident or charges when Lincoln Adim was cast, and he himself denied ever having engaged in or having been charged with any sexual misconduct," the statement said. "We employ a well-respected and highly experienced third party who has done thousands of background checks consistent with industry standards to do a nationwide background check in this case. The report we received did not reference any incident or charge relating to the recent conviction -- or any other charges relating to sexual misconduct."