Married At First Sight receives stream of viewer complaints

Sarah Carty
·Lifestyle Editor
·2-min read

There’s no denying that this year’s season of Married At First Sight has been one of the most controversial series to date.

There’s been cheating storylines, rumours of secret girlfriends and explosive dinner party scenes.

MAFS' Kerry and Johnny
Married At First Sight has received a stream of viwer complaints. Photo: Nine

However, the show has also been hit by a stream of complaints by viewers, who have flooded the The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) with 54 complaints, according to the Herald Sun.

“A significant proportion of the complaints alleged the program included personally abusive interchanges between participants through gaslighting, social, verbal and mental abuse and that the program perpetuated and promoted the theme of domestic abuse,” an ACMA spokesperson told the publication in a stateme.

It also confirmed that in 2020, the ACMA received 10 complaints about MAFS and in 2019 it received 45.


At the beginning of March, The Wash reported the media watchdog had received 14 complaints so far about this season. That number has gone up significantly since then.

Four of those complaints were reportedly about Bryce and Melissa, who have one of the most talked about couples on the show this year.

Bryce has shocked viewers in particular this year, telling Melissa at the start of the experiment that she’s not his type and ranking her fourth when the contestants were asked to rate the brides in order of who they were most attracted to.

"Under the co-regulatory system, the ACMA will refer complainants to the broadcaster in the first instance," a statement from the ACMA read.

The girls night on MAFS 2021
This year's season of the show has been one of the most controversial series ever. Photo: Nine

"If the complainant does not receive a response from the broadcaster within 60 days, or is not satisfied with the response, they may refer their complaint to the ACMA who may choose to investigate."

Departed groom James also came under fire for gaslighting with expert John Aitken even calling it out on multiple occasions.

"There is the issue, and this has got to do with a behaviour James, which is classic, stereotypical gaslighting behaviour, and it's something that has to stop," John explained during James and Jo's final commitment ceremony.

"When you try to have a conversation, you start to talk in circles, you start to deflect and dodge, put it back on to Jo.

"We got a close up look at it last night. We watched it for hours and hours, that behaviour is gaslighting and it is toxic and it hurts people that are close to you."

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