- A showrunner for “Bachelor Winter Games” said the Trump administration’s strict policies on entry into the United States directly affected the casting process.
- Producers wanted one cast member from every country that has its own version of the show.
- Some contestants were denied visas, including a German contestant of Persian descent.
- Other contestants arrived late to filming after waiting for their visas to get approved.
President Trump’s immigration policies have affected the country in unexpected ways – including casting of the most recent spin-off of “The Bachelor.”
“Bachelor Winter Games,” a spin-off series of ABC’s “The Bachelor” franchise debuts this week. The show features contestants from “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” seasons from all over the world, from the United States to Australia, to Switzerland and Japan.
“The Bachelor” has a franchise in over 30 countries, and “The Bachelorette” is in 13. With “Winter Games,” producers wanted to take advantage of the show’s global presence.
Initially, the goal was to recruit one contestant from every country that has its own version of “The Bachelor.” But in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, co-showrunner Bennett Graebner said getting some of the foreign contestants to the United States was a challenge as a result of Trump’s policies.
Graebner said the process was more difficult for 2018 than for 2017, saying some contestants missed the show’s opening ceremony due to a long visa approval process.
“It was shocking,” Graebner told THR. “I had a lot of sleepless nights wondering if certain people were going to get into the country.”
Graebner said that one contestant, who was on the German version of “The Bachelor,” was a favorite to be a contestant on “Winter Games.” He is of Persian descent, and his visa was denied “immediately,” he said.
Graebner said that the casting process took months, with contestants attending visa interviews and appointments at embassies.
Of 26 contestants on “Winter Games,” 12 are from the US. The other 14 contestants come from Canada, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, China and the UK.
“Winter Games” premieres Tuesday night on ABC.