ABC will tonight air a controversial episode of The Proposal which was previously pulled after a contestant was accused of facilitating a sexual assault.
The contestant, Michael Friday, has been completely edited out of the version being shown to millions of viewers, which will now feature nine “eligible gentlemen” vying for love — rather than the ten previously described when the episode was originally set to go to air.
Official images of the episode have also had Friday cropped out.
We told in June how ABC pulled what was previously scheduled to be the second episode of the season after a woman, Milwaukee native Erica Denae Meshke, claimed Friday had helped set up a sexual assault where she was the victim.
It was originally thought that the episode may never be aired, with ABC and Warner Bros. saying in a joint statement at the time: “An allegation has been made against a contestant on next week’s episode of ‘The Proposal.’
“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.”
A second woman later accused Friday of sexual assault in a separate incident.
Following the review, a decision was made to air the episode with Friday completely removed from the episode and the promotional images.
The allegations against Friday are unproven and he is yet to issue a statement. ABC told Monsters and Critics in a statement: “Michael Friday has been entirely removed from the season finale episode, and therefore removed from promotional material as well.
“During the taping, he was eliminated in the first round, so it didn’t require much editing.”
The Proposal season finale airs tonight at 10/9c on ABC.