With Married at First Sight 2024 about to kick off, it appears the networks behind the hit reality series are trying desperately to ensure the new cast won't be "going rogue" and leaking their storylines ahead of the episodes airing.
Yahoo Lifestyle understands that producers, publicists and network bosses are going to new lengths to ensure this year's cast adhere to their contracts – and in the build-up to the new season starting, an insider has spilled there are five concrete rules contestants must be following.
A well-placed source told Yahoo Lifestyle that the first rule is "absolutely no OnlyFans until the season has finished airing" as bosses are mindful of the show's “increased association with adult content” after so many former stars have joined the adult website.
Rule number two is for the new stars to not "capitalise" off their appearances while the show is still airing — so no organising brand collaborations, personal appearances, or signing to celebrity agents or management while the show is still showing on Channel Nine.
The third rule was that cast are “not to talk to any media without clear approval [from Nine]” to help prevent spoilers or generating negative press by “slamming their edits”.
And in order to not spoil the show's ending from fans, the cast have been reminded no public outings or dates with partners from when the show airs until their final scenes.
The final rule is that participants are reminded to listen to production to help safeguard them, and check in when things get rough with the help available provided from the network.
'It holds a mirror up'
In a chat with Yahoo Lifestyle last week, MAFS executive producers Alex Spurway and Mollie Harwood spoke about the often controversial experiment, saying that contestants can often get a shock when it comes to watching themselves back on TV.
"I think one thing that this experiment does is that it holds a mirror up to yourself," Alex said. "So when you finally watch that back, sometimes people can get a shock as to how they thought they may have behaved compared to how they actually have behaved."
"We can't make them do what they didn't actually do," MAFS producer Mollie added. "We can't force people to say things, we can't put words in their mouths. Like, if they said it, they said it, if they did it, they did it."
Endemol Shine Director of Content Tara McWilliams commended previous and current MAFS contestants on their bravery for appearing on the show, acknowledging the reactions from audiences can be "brutal".
"I want to acknowledge that would be very difficult, and that's part of why we have such robust support in place to handle to the best of their ability that criticism," she said.
"The public is brutal and they're brutal about anyone in the public space. We're in an age where anyone on social media gets caned for what they do. So I take my hat off to anyone and to all the participants who have put their hand up and said, 'I'll be a part of this.' It's very brave to do that."
Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to Nine for comment about the 2024 MAFS rules.