Regret, tears and therapy: MAFS UK shouldn’t continue if this is how it leaves its cast
‘The traumas I have are ruining my life’
My excitement for the 2022 season of Married at First Sight UK was honestly at rock bottom. An outstanding season of Love Island wrapped up in August, the thought of MAFS UK trying to fill the void was laughable. Last year’s MAFS UK was, in my opinion, dreadful. Boring drama, boring cast. Enter MAFS UK 2022 – a breath of fresh air and a laugh a minute bunch of episodes that never held back on its chaos. But the show has been off air for nearly two weeks now, and all we’ve had is the cast in tears and turmoil and drama that makes me think is the return of MAFS UK for the next season the right thing to do?
Is this good for anyone but the viewer?
The drama has of course been extremely entertaining. The kick offs at the MAFS UK dinner parties have made this season an absolute riot – find me a single person who wasn’t absolutely hooked on the reveal that Matt and Whitney had gone behind Duka, Gemma and, well, everyone’s back to pursue each other romantically.
This is what reality TV is all about. But where it stops being fun is when all we see following the show is the cast in absolute emotional distress – living with the regret of the season. For a show about love and happy endings, there doesn’t seem to be much matrimony that we’ve ended up with. Zoe and Jenna have emerged happily, but the percentage of MAFS UK cast members who’ve wrapped this season in a good mood is threadbare – however entertaining, should we get a new season to put a new batch of people through the exact same rigmarole?
So many cast members have spoken out against the show
There’s been anger and sadness from the cast since they watched it back and saw how they’d been edited or how they came across. Gemma, one of the late additions to the show, has arguably been the most vocal. Speaking on her Instagram, she said:
“There have been villains created and things made to look worse than they are. It’s absolutely unacceptable the way you have created these storylines and ruined people’s lives. I didn’t realise things would be cropped out to the extent that they have been to make it look like things are one-sided. What’s worse than me not having the chance to defend myself is that I defend myself and the channel haven’t shown it.
“Anything you’ve seen has been narrated by a story team and it’s all bullsh*t. You watch it as, ‘I want to make my own mind up’ but you’re not in control and neither are we. We didn’t sign up to be characters in a f***ing Netflix show. We signed up to portray real life relationships and how they develop.”
Gemma’s husband in the experiment Matt agreed with her making similar points on his Instagram, even though they’ve been at odds throughout. Regarding their comments, a spokesperson for Channel 4 said: “Married at First Sight UK episodes are carefully put together so that, while we cannot show every moment of scenes that can take hours to film, we ensure that what we do broadcast is a fair and accurate reflection of the events that unfolded.”
But those two aren’t the only ones – April has gone as far to say that the show has “ruined her life.” Speaking to The Sun, April said: “The traumas I have from being on Married at First Sight are ruining my life. I was given six therapy sessions and basically told to try and move on. People say Love Island is brutal but MAFS is 100 per cent worse. No one should apply to take part until they put in place more stringent background checks.”
“When the show told me about The Sun story, they told me I needed to be there to support George. I felt like they silenced me when I wanted to speak. I feel totally let down.
“I have a welfare officer who is amazing, but it seemed like the production team couldn’t care less. It’s like, ‘sorry your life has been ruined, here is a therapist, get over it, brush it under the carpet and move on’. I am angry.They put this man into my life. I did not choose to have this man – they chose him for me.”
Channel 4 then again responded to this, claiming that: “It’s categorically untrue to suggest that April was asked to take a position against her wishes, nor would we seek to silence her. All cast have access to appropriate support before, during and after filming and broadcast, including access to an independent psychologist. This support is proactively offered at every stage and, where requested, ongoing. April has been offered and continues to access such support. All contributors are subject to thorough background and psychological checks, including the most rigorous police checks a production is able to undertake.”
Sophie and Kwame from MAFS UK have also spoken out against the edits, and it leaves me wondering if the next season is going to change anything?
The post show drama isn’t fun and gossipy, it’s sad
It’s not fun seeing the cast of MAFS UK like this. This isn’t laughs and bitchy behind the scenes, this is real upset. When Thomas went on that podcast and upset his cast mates, he got death threats and a normally happy person was crying on their Instagram story. I’m not justifying his behaviour, but it seems more often than not this cast are in emotional straits and don’t feel prepared for life after the show where they’ve hit the limelight in ways they perhaps did not expect.
With all behaviour seemingly under scrutiny, if the next season of MAFS UK happens – which, due to the ratings smash and the general success I guess that it will – the show needs to make sure it casts the right people and makes the experience one that doesn’t leave people living in regret.
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