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Channel Nine apologises for ‘concern or distress’ caused by MAFS

Channel Nine has formally addressed the controversy surrounding the recent season of Married At First Sight.

The show had come under fire for some of the sexual content and claims of bullying and gaslighting.

In a lengthy letter obtained by The Wash, Nine apologised for the way the reality show made some viewers feel.

Hitting back: Channel Nine has formally addressed the controversy surrounding the recent season of Married At First Sight. Pictured: Bryce Ruthven and Melissa Rawson

‘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.

Nine also acknowledged that ‘bullying and conflict’ are ‘serious issues’, but insisted Married At First Sight did not breach any broadcast standards.

'We sincerely apologise': In a lengthy letter obtained by The Wash, Nine apologised for the way the reality show made some viewers feel

‘We sincerely apologise’: In a lengthy letter obtained by The Wash, Nine apologised for the way the reality show made some viewers feel

No problems: Nine acknowledged that 'bullying and conflict' are 'serious issues', but insisted Married At First Sight did not breach any broadcast standards

No problems: Nine 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.

‘A significant proportion of the complaints alleged the program included personally abusive interchanges between participants through gaslighting, social, verbal and mental abuse and that the program perpetuated and promoted the theme of domestic abuse,’ an ACMA spokesperson said in a statement.

Too far? The show had come under fire for some of the sexual content and claims of bullying and gaslighting. Pictured: Married At First Sight bride Alana Lister, who was not the subject of a complaint personally

Too far? The show had come under fire for some of the sexual content and claims of bullying and gaslighting. Pictured: Married At First Sight bride Alana Lister, who was not the subject of a complaint personally

According to a report by The Wash, many viewers took offence at scenes involving controversial couple Melissa Rawson and Bryce Ruthven.

‘Under the co-regulatory system, the ACMA will refer complainants to the broadcaster in the first instance,’ the watchdog said.

‘If the complainant does not receive a response from the broadcaster within 60 days, or is not satisfied with the response, they may refer their complaint to the ACMA who may choose to investigate.’

Drama: The eighth season of Married At First Sight Australia was the most complained-about season in the show's history. Pictured: Bryce Ruthven

Feuds: The season featured physical fights and name calling. Pictured: Sam Carraro

Drama: The eighth season of Married At First Sight Australia was the most complained-about season in the show’s history. Pictured: Bryce Ruthven (left) and Sam Carraro (right)

According to ACMA, many viewers raised ‘concerns over the scenes involving Melissa and Bryce’.

Additionally, a Change.org petition demanded Nine issue an apology for airing ‘triggering’ scenes involving the ‘gaslighting’ groom and his long-suffering wife.

The petition, which received 2,500 signatures in under 24 hours and now has more than 15,000, is also calling for Nine to acknowledge its alleged ‘failure of duty of care’ towards Melissa.

‘This season of Married at First Sight Australia features a couple, Melissa and Bryce, who portray an excessive amount of DV signs which are not being handled by the network appropriately,’ the petition states.

Details: Many viewers took offence at scenes involving controversial couple Melissa and Bryce

Details: Many viewers took offence at scenes involving controversial couple Melissa and Bryce

‘There is a clear failure of duty of care to Melissa during filming of the show, allowing her to remain in a toxic and dangerous environment with her partner for the “benefit” of the network.’

‘She is being subject to gaslighting, emotional manipulation, isolation, and countless other textbook signs of a controlling and or abusive relationship,’ the petition goes on to claim, adding that the scenes are ‘incredibly triggering and stressful to watch’.

It continues: ‘This petition is for the Nine Network to acknowledge and apologise for letting Melissa go through this and also airing such a horrible relationship on TV without doing anything to showcase that the relationship is clearly not healthy.’

Despite the backlash, Bryce and Melissa have remained together since the series went off air and are now working on their own podcast together.

The last laugh! Despite the backlash, Bryce and Melissa have remained together since the series went off air and are now working on their own podcast together

The last laugh! Despite the backlash, Bryce and Melissa have remained together since the series went off air and are now working on their own podcast together

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk