Farmer Wants a Wife hit screens on Sunday evening in a highly anticipated return after more than four years off-air, and a coronavirus-related delay, but some fans have been left disappointed by what they’re calling a major oversight from the reality series.
The Channel Seven show, which is going up against Ten’s Bachelor in Paradise, was hailed as a wholesome return to true love after a very messy year of reality TV from show’s like Married at First Sight, not to mention an avalanche of splits from former Bachelor franchise couples.
It seems the show has misstepped majorly for some fans, however, who say they’ve been left blinded by the show’s overwhelmingly white cast, and left disappointed by the lack of any diverse sexualities on show.
The show follows five farmers from across Australia as they search for a wife, with many raising an eyebrow over the somewhat outdated ‘multiple women vying for one man’s heart’ format.
“11 yr old just asked seeing an ad for “Farmer wants a Wife” is there also “Farmer wants a Husband”? Good question...” one person wrote on Twitter upon seeing an ad for the premiere.
It was a sentiment many fans took to social media to agree with.
The show prides itself on its wholesome reputation – spawning nine marriages and 20 kids – and even sold itself off the ‘real love is back’ tagline in a not-so-subtle dig at other Aussie reality shows.
It seems, however, the very narrow field of straight, white people involved has taken the shine off the show’s feel-good reputation for more than one former fan.
Fans slam exclusively-heterosexual relationships on show
Many were upset at the exclusively straight relationships being pursued and represented on the show.
Some were positive in their criticism, saying they would ‘love’ to feature on a more inclusive version of the show.
“I wanna be the farmer on Farmer Wants a Wife, queer Farmer Wants a Wife would be so good. I’ll volunteer to be first,” one fan wrote.
Others were more direct.
“Why has no one made Lesbian Farmer Wants a Wife?” one fan wondered.
‘Zero racial diversity’ slammed
Most, however, were furious at the seemingly all-white cast, with current calls for more diversity apparently not making a dint in the show’s casting.
Some thought the show’s name needed an update.
“Farmer Wants a White Wife,” one viewer corrected.
Others were slightly less cute with their assessments of the program.
“White Farmer wants a white wife...” one person wrote. “I know this was a throwback to [an] early 2000s show, but you did not have to make a show that looks like it was made in 2000.”
“The lack of diverse casting was horrendous,” he continued.
“Worst in modern Australian TV history. I turned off 30 minutes in.”
Another agreed, gobsmacked that casting couldn’t include a single non-white face in the entire line up.
“Wow I can’t believe the casting people at Farmer Wants a Wife could not locate a single non-white person for their show,” the woman wrote on Twitter.
Not everyone was unhappy with the show’s return, however, with plenty taking to social media thrilled at the series’ return.
“Minutes into Farmer Wants A Wife)... [and] I already know I'm going to LUV it,” one fan wrote online. “Miles n away better than MAFS trash.”
Some even promised to switch off Bachelor in Paradise in favour of the country classic.
“Sorry Bachelor in Paradise I’m breaking up with you,” the fan wrote. “My heart now belongs to Farmer Wants A Wife. So happy to have this heartwarming show back on TV.”
Farmer Wants A Wife airs 7pm Sundays, and 7.30pm Mondays on Channel Seven.