Eric Hill died tragically in a paragliding accident in April, but is still appearing on the 'Bachelorette.' No rest in peace for him.

Eric Hill died tragically in a paragliding accident in April, but is still appearing on the ‘Bachelorette.’ Rest in peace, Eric. (Photo: Eric Hill, Facebook)

“Bachelorette” Andi Dorfman was eager for her first “one-on-one” date with contender Eric Hill, but in the back of every viewer’s mind had to be emotional thoughts about Hill’s tragic death. Is that what producers were counting on?

Hill died April 23 from injuries he sustained in a paragliding accident. By then, he’d finished filming his segment of the show.

Chris Harrison went through some hand-wringing about the decision, but there was never a question whether he would remain in the show.

“We’re still dealing with the day-to-day of how to best respectfully and honorably include him in the show, but at the same time, not sensationalize it and make it anything that it wasn’t,” Chris Harrison told Entertainment Weekly.

Thanks for the sensitivity, pal, but the fact is having him in the show is sensationalism by definition.

After all, this isn’t a movie where Hill played a role. If it were, it would be a fitting tribute to air it with him in it.

But this is reality television, with the supposed emphasis on “reality.” And, the reality is Hill is dead.

To watch him going through the motions hoping to “build a future” with Andi isn’t reality; it’s cheap exploitation of a man’s death.

The goal is obvious, to tap a vein of morbid curiosity to lure viewers into watching the show.

“I don’t want to throw out the L-word yet but . . . this could be the first date with my future wife,” Eric says optimistically.

Nothing turns a touching moment into maudlin display quite like knowing the person you’re watching woo his “future wife” is already dead.

Of course, it would have taken time and money to reshoot scenes and work around Hill’s appearance on the show. But that goes against the whole point of reality shows. They’re cheap entertainment.

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