Netflix Star Sues the Streamer Over ‘Inhumane Working Conditions’ and Low Pay

by Joe Rutland

The Netflix show Love Is Blind is coming under some heat due to a star from that show suing it and show producers. Jeremy Hartwell is alleging that Love Is Blind producers would fill up the cast with alcohol while depriving them of food and water. He’s also claiming that “inhumane working conditions” were part of the situation he and others were facing.

Hartwell also claims that the show was paying cast members less than minimum wage. All of that is just among a number of labor-law violations Hartwell is bringing to the forefront. Hartwell’s lawsuit, according to Variety, gets filed in California Superior Court in Los Angeles. It does name Netflix, production company Kinetic Content, and Kinetic casting company Delirium TV as defendants. No comment was available from Netflix or Kinetic Content at this time.

A Contestant from Netflix Show ‘Love Is Blind’ Spends Days Recovering

For his part, Hartwell, who works at a mortgage company in Chicago, says that he did spend days recovering. From what? Sleep deprivation, lots of alcohol, and a lack of food and water. The show’s second season premiered in February 2022 on Netflix. The lawsuit indicates that contestants on Love Is Blind should have been classified as employees under California state law. They should have been, according to the suit, not tagged as independent contractors. Why? Producers would dictate the timing, manner, and means of the contestants’ work.

Producers would pay contestants a $1,000 flat rate per week. This is while forcing them to work potentially up to 20 hours per day and seven days per week. It all would be calculated to be $7.14 per hour. The minimum wage in Los Angeles County, according to the suit, is at least $15 per hour.

Jeremy Hartwell Has Los Angeles Firm Representing Him In Suit

Chantal Payton, an attorney from Payton Employment Law in Los Angeles, is representing Hartwell. The lawyer states that show producers “intentionally underpaid the cast members, deprived them of food, water, and sleep, plied them with booze, and cut off their access to personal contacts and most of the outside world. This made cast members hungry for social connections and altered their emotions and decision-making.”

Additionally, Hartwell is seeking class-action status for all Love Is Blind participants over the past four years. That also includes participants in other non-scripted shows from the defendants in that period of time. The law firm indicates that the plaintiff class potentially could be more than 100 people. Meanwhile, the suit also states that show contracts required those contestants to agree if they left before filming was done that they had to pay for “liquidated damages.” The total? $50,000.