MAFS' Jack explains what he really meant by 'whale' comment on retreat

The season 11 ‘villain’ claims the comment was actually aimed at two of the brides.

Married At First Sight’s Jack Dunkley has defended his “whale” comment on the couples retreat and claimed the reality show didn’t air all of the context surrounding the controversial remark.

Earlier this week, the 34-year-old personal trainer was called out for allegedly calling fellow grooms Tristan Black and Timothy Smith “whales” while they were sitting by the pool.

MAFS’ Timothy Smith and Jack Dunkley.
MAFS’ Jack Dunkley has defended his controversial comment during the couples retreat. Photos: Channel Nine

While Jack confirmed he made the off-camera comment, he clarified that it was said as a “joke” and he “would never directly call anyone a whale”.

The outspoken groom has since doubled down and told 9Entertainment that the comment was simply “outrageous banter” aimed at two of the brides.

“I walked into the pool one day and I think it was Jade and Lauren or Jade and Sara, two very attractive, fit girls [that are] very happy with their bodies, and I know they’re very happy with their bodies,” he said.

“I did a bit of a walk and I said, ‘Oh the whales are out today!’. It was a joke – not a joke I would make to anyone and everyone, but I felt like I had a position with these two people where I could make that joke.”


He went on to assert that the comment definitely wasn’t said about Tristan, who has openly discussed his issues with body image on the show.

“I'm really tight with Tristan, I love the guy,” Jack shared. “Not in a million years would I make a joke like that to someone like Tristan, I'm not that stupid.

“As far as I know, I didn't think he was at the pool. But he got wind of the joke, as did the whole cast because Timothy brought it up when everyone was around the fire pit that night having drinks and it sounded horrible.

“That’s why you don’t make these jokes to certain people, because that’s triggered him.”

MAFS’ Jade Pywell / Lauren Dunn and Sara Mesa in bikinis.
Jack claimed the ‘whale’ comment was actually said about ‘Jade and Lauren or Jade and Sara’. Photos: Channel Nine

Former participant slams 'disgusting' behaviour

During an appearance on Yahoo Lifestyle’s Behind the Edit podcast this week, season 10 bride Alyssa Barmonde was very critical of Jack’s comment regardless of who it was said about.

“Calling anyone a name that insinuates any sort of body shaming is completely so disrespectful, so disgusting,” she said. “Coming from a personal trainer, mate, you've just ruined your career.

“And then obviously they've played a lot on Tristan’s body issues that he had in the past, and you can see him physically want to dissolve into the couch at that moment. So it's just disgusting.

“What he said was absolutely inappropriate and never should’ve been said.”


Alyssa went on to say that Jack’s apology to Tristan during Wednesday night’s dinner party, where he gave him a supplements voucher and a key chain that said ‘You are enough’, made her “want to throw up”.

“That is the worst slap in the face,” she remarked. “That's not how you apologise to somebody for body shaming them. It's absolutely disgusting behaviour.”

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