‘We don’t deserve this’: MAFS Australia cast members expose the reality of going on TV
‘You never know when something you say to someone can push them over the edge’
When it comes to starring on a reality TV show, contestants immediately open themselves up to public opinion and sometimes people take it a step too far.
This year’s Married First Sight Australia cohort had their Instagram comments switched off while the show was airing as well as having their DMs cleared before gaining access to their accounts. However, that hasn’t prevented a wave of negative comments on their pages now their accounts are back to normal.
A number of the cast members have shared on their social media the reality of being on the show and the impact messages from trolls has had on them.
In an interview with Yahoo, Melissa opened up about the truth behind the online abuse and trolling she has been receiving on social media as a result of her “edit” on MAFS Australia.
Melissa was criticised on social media while the series aired in both Australia and UK due to her want to be intimate with her TV husband Josh. Melissa has said there was nothing she could have done to prepare herself for the sheer amount of negative messages she received on social media.
“What was most hurtful is like, I’m reading these messages about myself regarding a character I feel like I was playing with a script that I never read before, and these people are coming for me that has the face, has the body, has the voice of this person that I’m not,” she began.
“That was hard. For me personally, all that I saw was this character, this sexual person that was super hypersexual and I was with my match that was not, and it was just really, really enhanced.
“The things that I had said, the things that I had done, the things that they had asked me to say or repeat or do, it was shocking to me. So I can absolutely understand for a viewer that was watching my character on the TV, they can totally get this perception of this is the only thing that she’s all about.”
The former bride said she began receiving “disturbing” emails after using her full name on the TV series.
“It was a snippet, but that was long enough for the trolls to know where I worked,” she explained. “So I had over 10 to 12 different emails, sexual emails, of men and actually women coming to me offering their sexual advances.
“The biggest memory for me of that was a man that was 64, he had a penis pump, and he was happy to take me away for a weekend and pay for the dirty weekend and use a penis pump so that I could, I don’t even know, have sex with him as long as I needed to. I was shocked.”
Despite not receiving as much flack as she originally did, Melissa acknowledged that her co-stars are still facing the brunt of it.
“The trolls have got to be careful because if they keep going for people’s mental health, they could push someone to the edge to end up harming themselves or doing something really dangerous, and who’s accountable for that?” Melissa said.
“What I would say to any of the trolls that troll myself or any of the other cast members, please remember, be kind. It’s not always what you think that it is, so please be kind because we don’t deserve it.”
Alyssa is another MAFS Australia bride who has been relentlessly trolled following her appearance on the series. Alyssa became best known for repeatedly telling people she had a child, something a lot of people watching the show didn’t enjoy.
Alyssa has shared messages from people calling her a number of different names, something she has been having absolutely none of and has been calling them out on her Instagram story.
In a recent Instagram story, Alyssa wrote: “I’ll keep sharing these so y’all can help me report them – and to remember to spread kindness. Words hurt. And you never know when something you say to someone can push them over the edge.”
A group of the MAFS Australia brides all recently rallied around Alyssa, defending her against trolls on social media.
In response to a question from a follower trolling and if Alyssa has a child, MAFS Australia bride Tahnee responded: “Alyssa is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. She is that friend that will always be there for you no matter what.
“I know this show can really bring out the worst in people and highlight more negative aspects but I really wish you got to see more of how warm and kind she is. It’s such a shame. She would always bake us treats and leave at our door in Skye Suites, let me borrow her shoes, bring me period pain medication when I needed.
“At the end of the day, you only see such a small snippet of who we are (for better or for worse) BUT we are human, we make mistakes and we can only grow from our experiences.”
Tayla also received her fair share of online abuse while episodes aired in the UK and Australia. Tayla was matched with Hugo, but they soon left the experiment after failing to establish any kind of connection.
In an exclusive interview with The Tab, Tayla described the trolling she has received from MAFS Australia viewers as “intense”. “It’s important for people to realise how heavily edited reality TV is because the bullying that comes with these shows is intense,” she told The Tab.
Bronte is another MAFS Australia bride who has faced the brunt of trolling on her social media and like Alyssa, she has been sharing some of the messages on her Instagram stories.
The bride was previously struggling with her mental health as a result of the reaction to her portrayal on the series.
A close friend of Bronte told So Dramatic! the bride’s mental health had plummeted since starring on the show and was having panic attacks and suicidal thoughts.
Bronte’s mental health struggled even more when she faced online abuse and harassment from viewers. The source said: “She’s a shell of herself at the moment. She’s not coping.”
In a text seen by So Dramatic!, Bronte told her friends she had been crying every day since the MAFS Australia episodes aired. The text read: “I am the worst I’ve ever been in my entire life. I cry myself to sleep every night and wake up crying almost every day. It’s unbearable. I am holding on by a thread. I’ve never felt this broken in my life.”
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Featured image credit via Nine Network Australia.