‘We’re not backing down’: Married At First Sight’s Bryce Ruthven and Melissa Rawson are in talks to take legal action against Channel Nine
Married At First Sight‘s Bryce Ruthven and Melissa Rawson have revealed they are considering legal action over their ‘negative portrayals’ on the show.
The couple, both 31, told New Idea they were left feeling ‘broken’ by their edit, while Melissa confessed to feeling ‘not suicidal, but headed down that path’.
‘I’ve had several lawyers approach me to take them on,’ Bryce told the publication.
‘Not backing down’: Married At First Sight’s Bryce Ruthven (left) and Melissa Rawson (right) have revealed they are considering legal action over their ‘negative portrayals’ on the show
‘I feel enticed when lawyers are making contact – the show ruined my life, my mental health. There’s never been a couple like us who look so putrid to Australians,’ he said.
A frustrated Mel added: ‘People are claiming our relationship has triggered victims of domestic violence, but then Channel Nine says they’ve done their due diligence by us, but viewers are still interpreting it like such. Something has clearly gone wrong.’
The Melbourne-based workplace trainer said the serious claims being made about her and Bryce have made her consider taking things further.
Not happy: The couple, both 31, told New Idea they were left feeling ‘broken’ by their edit, while Melissa confessed to feeling ‘not suicidal, but headed down that path’
Bryce was widely criticised by MAFS viewers for appearing to gaslight and manipulate his ‘wife’ on the show, but the pair insist they have a healthy relationship.
Viewers also claimed Melissa’s insecurities and trauma from past relationships were exploited by producers for ratings at the expense of her mental health.
Controversy: Bryce was widely criticised by MAFS viewers for appearing to gaslight and manipulate his ‘wife’ on the show, but the pair insist they have a healthy relationship
The network issued a response following several complaints to media watchdog ACMA, and after more than 12,000 viewers signed a Change.org petition calling for Nine to apologise for airing ‘triggering’ scenes involving the couple.
In a lengthy letter to complainants obtained by The Wash, Nine apologised for the way the reality show made some viewers feel, but didn’t admit to any wrongdoing.
‘We sincerely apologise for any concern or distress which may have been raised by your viewing of the program,’ Nine’s compliance department wrote.
The network stated the views of the show’s participants did not reflect Nine as a whole, and that everyone on the show has access to psychological support.
Problematic: It comes after Channel Nine refused to apologise for airing controversial scenes involving Bryce and Melissa, despite more than 12,000 viewers signing a Change.org petition calling for Nine to apologise for airing ‘triggering’ scenes depicting domestic violence
Nine also acknowledged that ‘bullying and conflict’ are ‘serious issues’, but insisted Married At First Sight did not breach any broadcast standards.
The eighth season of Married At First Sight Australia was the most complained-about season in the show’s history.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) received more than 50 official complaints – a record number for the watchdog.
Bryce’s problematic behaviour on Married At First Sight
- Voting ‘wife’ Melissa the fourth-hottest in a relationship task
- Saying Melissa was ‘not his type’ during an ‘honesty box’ challenge
- Despite Melissa sharing her history with low self-esteem, Bryce tells her ‘well, you’re not ugly’
- Flirted with co-star Beck Zemek at the gym
- Lied at the dinner party about the conversation he had with Beck at the gym
- Initially voting to ‘leave’ Melissa at Sunday’s commitment ceremony, but crossing out his answer and writing ‘stay’ at the last minute
- Accusing the cast of creating a ‘toxic environment’ for his wife, spreading lies about him and being bullies – despite him being toxic, a liar and a bully