Showdown in Sonoma: Things Get Heated During Production of The Bachelor

The crew of the ABC reality show threatens local media, but who's really at fault?

By , Contributor

Sonoma News

And we thought all the drama on The Bachelor stemmed from the 20+ women all vying for the affection of one guy!

Apparently, there's also a little tension mounting between the show's production crew and the local media in Sonoma, California, where Ben Flajnik and a number of bachelorettes filmed the first "group dates" in the winemaker's hometown.

As TMR previously reported, Flajnik and several bachelorettes were spotted in an area known as Sonoma Plaza on Friday, September 23, where they waited to film their individual interviews. Trouble arose, however, when a local media outlet, Sonoma News, began to take photos and videos of the movie-like production that was taking place in one of the most historic sites in the state of California, located just a block from their headquarters.

According to Sonoma News' David Bolling, a photographer was sent to The Plaza to take pictures of the cast and crew of the ABC reality show, only to be yelled at, threatened, and told that she had to leave immediately. After informing the crew that The Plaza is a public place, and that she had every right to be there, the photographer left to go on another job, and Bolling himself showed up to shoot video for Sonoma's website, getting the very same reaction from members of The Bachelor crew, who he says became "openly hostile."

"I have to say that some of the people from the production company were polite," Bolling tells TMR. "And some were very much in your face, and 'you have no right to be here,' and 'get out of here now.'"

Surely there was a logical, justified reason for the crew of The Bachelor to get so angry about the attention they were getting as they shot their scenes on a sunny Friday in the middle of a historic area filled with hundreds of locals; especially with the lack of private property available in Sonoma. It's not like there are dozens of multi-million dollar estates and scenic vineyards at the network's disposal, where filming could take place in total seclusion.

Oh, wait...

63cb5f7792c6ca39351dd414b9df34e0.jpgActually, there are such sites — including the property where Ben Flajnik's wine is made, which is owned by the family of his business partner. In fact, the network has filmed Ben there before.

So why all the dramatics over shots that any passerby in The Plaza with a cell phone could have taken and spread online? And why go as far as having a studio publicist call Bolling, threatening to deny Sonoma News any future access to cast members for interviews if they continued to photograph the production crew's activity?

Despite the threats and the show's "utterly illogical" insistence upon trying to hide in plain sight, Sonoma News plans to continue their coverage of The Bachelor as long as they keep filming in public places. And so will we. Because obviously, that's exactly what ABC wants us to do.

The Bachelor, starring Ben Flajnik, premieres Monday, January 2 on ABC.

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Shayla C. Perry is a freelance journalist based in New York. In addition to interviewing some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, and covering the latest in celebrity news & gossip, her forte (read: obsession) is examining the sensationalism, gall, and sheer genius of reality TV.

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