The Block's executive producer Julian Cress has hit back at claims of bullying on the show, saying it's simply 'conflict'.
Speaking with TV Tonight, Julian described this season of The Block as one of the most entertaining shows to produce, "We needed strong personalities. We needed a bit of psychological warfare. I would say that my expectations for all of that were dramatically exceeded."
However, the infamous body corporate meeting had viewers believing the show took the drama too far, leading to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) receiving 28 complaints in one week, with claims it promotes 'bullying, harassment and promotion of anti-social behaviour between contestants'.
"I see that people throw around words like bullying on social media," Julian said. "They were referring to Leah calling a body corporate meeting and asking Steph why she didn’t get her father inducted. It does not amount to bullying in my opinion. I understand that people choose sides with personalities in the show. But I’m not happy when contestants get accused of bullying when they didn’t."
He adds that he doesn't believe anything will come of an ACMA investigation.
"Bullying is abhorrent, and nobody should ever tolerate bullying in the workplace," he said. "I don’t like it when people throw that word around as an accusation. In that case, I don’t believe that anything that Leah or Kristy or any of those people did on the show amounts to bullying. I mean, it may be considered bad behaviour by people, but bullying it’s not.
"It’s conflict. It’s people talking s**t about other people behind their backs, which is what reality television has been since Survivor and Big Brother premiered 23 years ago."
Fans slam show's 'toxic' drama
Fans have been taking to social media ever since the show premiered to share their thoughts on the show, with many complaining that there's not enough focus on the renovations and too much drama.
“I don’t mind a bit of drama, it’s a reality show so I get there might be some sparks, but every single episode there’s toxic behaviour, snarky comments and bullying and it's kind of bringing me down,” one user wrote on Reddit last month.
“I don’t feel good after watching The Block anymore and that’s a shame because this is usually my comfort show. I hope it gets better as the season goes on.”
Others agreed that the drama is “tiring”, and they prefer to watch the show online so they can “skip through all the toxicity”.
“Once upon a time it was a show about building. Now it's a soap opera with snippets of building,” another added.
“I love drama and I am there for it when it’s minor disagreements about Block-related stuff and issues with the builds etc, but a lot of this season isn't drama, it’s bullying and that isn't ok,” someone else shared.
“B***hiness and toxicity is next level this season,” one fan wrote, while a different user replied, “ I miss the early days where you had the odd moment but the show was mainly about the renos and reveals”.
Many others have shared that they are choosing not to watch every episode and only watch the room reveals to avoid all of the drama.
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