Becky Steenhoek, a former producer with The Bachelorette reality show, is suing Warner Bros., the show’s production company and five producers for alleged sexual harassment, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Steenhoek, 31, spoke extensively to The Times about the complaint, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court. In the interview, she alleged that she was asked “graphic personal questions,” including about her sex life, during JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette. She was let go by the show, according to the newspaper. The show and its producers have not yet released a statement.
The Bachelorette and its companion show, The Bachelor, are among television’s most popular franchises. It’s but the latest producer-related controversy for the franchise and its spinoffs; a producer’s complaint had also led to allegations that the show did not stop inappropriate sexual behavior during Bachelor in Paradise last season.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Steenhoek Claims She Was Asked Graphic Questions by Bachelorette Producers & Says She’s From a Christian Household
Steenhoek claims she was asked questions like “How often do you masturbate? Do you own sex toys/dildos? Have you ever had anal sex? Do you enjoy giving hand jobs? Is your vagina shaved? Do you have a landing strip? Has a man ever got your ‘taco’ talking?” according to TMZ.
She claimed that the questions were “designed to embarrass her” because of her “conservative views,” TMZ reports. Her LinkedIn page says she worked as a “segment producer” for NZK Productions starting in October 2014. That’s the production company behind The Bachelorette.
2. Steenhoek Moved Back to Texas After the Show Let Her Go
Steenhoek told The Los Angeles Times that she was “raised in a Christian household” and “was uncomfortable with the line of questioning. Her colleagues’ personal inquiries would often make her blush, she said, which only intensified their prodding.” Steenhoek’s LinkedIn page said that she was living in Beverly Hills, but she told the Los Angeles Times she had moved to Texas after her negative experience with The Bachelorette.
She alleges that she told a producer that she was uncomfortable and was told “This is the way of the industry and world that we work in,” reported The Times. She said she was hired for her morals, in part, but then was let go suddenly after complaining, reported the Times, which alleged: “Steenhoek said, she was suddenly excluded from production meetings and relegated to running menial errands for her bosses, including fetching their meals and making sure the food was to their liking. Then, on April 17, Steenhoek said she was informed…she would not be needed for the remainder of the season.” She told the newspaper she was told she was being fired for not being enough of a “b*tch.”
3. Steenhoek Previously Worked as a Private Nanny
On LinkedIn, Steenhoek says that she previously worked as a private nanny. She was employed in a private household in Santa Monica, California from 2011 to 2013, she wrote, describing her duties as “Primary care-giver of 15 year old boy with special needs. Bathe, feed, and engage in therapeutic exercises and activities with child. Pick up children from school and prepare meals. Occasional overnight/weekend stays. Light assistant work such as grocery shopping and running of errands.”
She also spent less than a year as a nanny in another private household. “Cared for three children (ages 3 mo, 2 yrs, 4 yrs) and planned daily activities. Got children dressed in the morning, prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner, drove to school, bathed children, and put down for nap and bedtime. Read stories, painted, played legos and games, built forts, went to the park, and ran errands,” she wrote. She wrote that she also worked as a nanny for an ambassador.
Specifically, as to the latter, she wrote, “Cared for daughter of Munir and Kelly Akram. Assisted Ambassador with emails and speeches. Planned activities, prepared meals and performed various household duties.”
4. Steenhoek Also Worked as a Production Assistant & Went to College in Iowa
Steenhoek was also an assistant to the CEO and a production assistant for a company called SportsArc. She wrote on Linkedin that she “Managed the office & scheduled meetings. Interacted with current/ potential clients & answered telephone calls. Production assistant for the movie The Hopeful. Worked combines & casting calls.”
On LinkedIn, she said that she attended the University of Iowa for two years, receiving a BA in psychology. She has a Twitter page but hasn’t posted on it recently, although she posted about being in California, such as attending a Lakers’ game, as far back as 2013. She has minimal public posts on Facebook, largely photos showing groups of friends and family, including people jumping in unison into a lake.
In the lawsuit, Steenhoek is alleging “sexual harassment, hostile work environment, sex discrimination, retaliation, failure to prevent harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and wrongful termination.” She is from Pella, Iowa.
5. Bachelor in Paradise Was Also Hit With Sex-Related Allegations From a Producer
Allegations from a producer about the spin off Bachelor in Paradise led to a temporary shut down in production after a producer complained about alleged sexual activity between two of the contestants that occurred in an alcohol-fueled environment.
In a case that is obviously at a different level of seriousness, a former production assistant on the ABC reality show “filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that he did not get adequate meal breaks” in 2016, Daily Variety reported. The production assistant alleged that “NZK Productions — the company behind the long-running reality series — violated California labor laws. The suit alleges that P.A.’s were not afforded 30-minute meal breaks and paid rest periods, and NZK did not provide accurate wage statements. The suit seeks class status on behalf of all of the company’s production assistants in California,” reported Daily Variety.