MAFS brides react to show being investigated by ACMA: 'Best news'

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

The 2021 season of Married At First Sight is officially being investigated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The broadcasting watchdog has reportedly started investigating certain scenes and episodes that outraged viewers when they first aired earlier this year, according to the Herald Sun.

Married At First Sight's Bryce and Melissa on the couch
Married At First Sight's Melissa and Bryce. Photo: Channel Nine

"The ACMA has commenced an investigation into episodes of the 2021 season of Married At First Sight and is currently assessing the scope of the investigation noting the range of issues raised in complaints over several episodes," the ACMA said in a statement to the publication.

Many viewers questioned groom Bryce Ruthven's relationship with his TV wife Melissa Rawson, however, she has always remained by his side and slammed the claims.

MAFS bride Beck Zemek commented on an Instagram post about the investigation by the So Dramatic podcast, writing, "This is the best news yet. Can’t wait till they hear all the questions we get asked by producers."

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Clare Verrall, another former MAFS bride, commented, "Fantastic news!! About time."

Beth Moore, who also appeared in this year's season, wrote, "I doubt they’ll be able to do anything, but it’s a good start!"

Beck has previously suggested that she attempted to have Bryce removed from the show after he kissed her on the cheek without her consent during one episode.

Bryce spoke about the exchange on the the Kyle & Jackie O show, saying it was similar to when "you greet someone, give them a hug, say hello, kiss on the cheek sort of thing".

Instagram comments from MAFS brides
A number of MAFS brides commented on a post about the investigation, with Beck Zemek calling it 'the best news'. Photo: Instagram
MAFS' Bryce kisses Beck
Photo: Channel Nine

According to the Herald Sun, the ACMA received 54 complaints about the show. 

They then pass the complaints to Nine and if the complainants are unsatisfied with the response from Nine, they can take the complaint back to the ACMA for an investigation.

In response to a Change.Org petition about the show titled 'Make the Nine network apologise for failing duty of care', John Walsh, Network executive producer of MAFS told B&T: "The petition in question does not reflect the nature of Bryce and Melissa’s relationship and at no time did Endemol Shine Australia or Nine consider Bryce and Melissa’s relationship to be characterised by domestic violence or the like. If that had been the case we would have intervened immediately.

"Our first priority in making MAFS is to make sure all the participants feel they are operating in a safe environment. At a briefing of participants prior to commencement of filming, the importance of alerting production if they felt unsafe or uncomfortable with their partners at any time was reinforced. We understand meeting and marrying someone at first sight and living with them for eight weeks can be a potentially daunting experience and we would not persist with a scenario where someone does not feel safe.

"We have very rigorous processes in place to protect all participants in the experiment. All participants have access to the show psychologist during filming, broadcast and once the program has ended. Nine also provides an additional service for participants should they like or need further individual and confidential psychological support."

"This service gives participants access to psychologists who have been specifically engaged to support those involved in the program in relation to their experiences. This confidential service is available to all participants for as long as they need."

Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted the ACMA and Channel Nine for comment.

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