Producers of Married at First Sight have defended the show against claims by participants they were plied with alcohol and were denied appropriate toilet breaks during marathon filming sessions.
“The filming — because it goes for so long — you’re tired, you’re drunk, you’re not yourself, they get you at your worst,” Lauren Bran told news.com.au. “I was boozy, they booze you up. They encourage it. They’re just free-pouring the whole time. At one stage I had someone put a couple of drinks in front of me. And I said, ‘Nah, nah, I’m good, I’m good,’ and they say, ‘Nah, have more to drink’.
“On the hens night, there were jugs of water — they swapped it for vodka and Red Bull.”
Perth truck driver Susan Rawlings concurred, saying “Free alcohol, take as much as you want and be here the next nine hours.”
Bran also lashed out at marathon sessions and filming conditions designed to keep participants on a short fuse. Some dinner party shoots did not conclude until between 2-4am.
“So we’re sitting there in extremely hot conditions for 12 hours and you finish at three, four in the morning,” she said. “The next day, you’re having to go, sit in front of the experts, with all these people and try and explain your case. It’s very intimidating. It’s bullying. The producers, they yell at you. Because we were all so tired and everyone had been up filming and it was so hot and they’d say, ‘Guys! You look like you’re at a bloody funeral! Liven up! Look a bit happier!’ And we’re like, ‘How the F do we be happy when we’re in these extreme conditions?’
Rawlings added to a growing chorus that questioned the role of the show’s three psychologists.
“How do they edit this and completely not give a shit about people’s lives?” she asked. “They don’t give a shit about what others think of these people.”
It’s not the first time a reality show has made news for filming under hothouse conditions, with Celebrity Apprentice accused of tactics including early starts, delayed shoots and inadequate refreshments.
But a spokesperson for Endemol Shine said the company took their duty of care very seriously.
“All participants are given adequate food, water and breaks and have access to psychological support, which has always been available at any time throughout the show and continues to be,” a spokesman said in a statement.
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