Jackie ‘O’ Henderson has defended Married At First Sight ‘expert’ Mel Schilling after a petition calling for her to be sacked drew more than 35,000 signatures.
Mel had lectured Bronson Norrish over his use of the C-word on Sunday’s episode but failed to address Ines Basic’s ‘abusive’ behaviour, sparking a viewer backlash.
But on Tuesday’s Kyle & Jackie O Show, Jackie insisted Mel shouldn’t be sacked over her comments because she wasn’t fully aware of Ines’ conduct on her honeymoon.
‘She shouldn’t be sacked over it!’ Jackie ‘O’ Henderson (pictured) has defended MAFS expert Mel Schilling after more than 35,000 people signed a petition calling for her to be sacked
‘The experts don’t see what happens on the honeymoon. They only see the dinner parties and the commitment ceremony,’ Jackie explained on air.
‘I understand [Ines] deserved to be reprimanded, but at the end of the day all [Mel] has done is just call out a guy who’s used the C-word.’
‘She shouldn’t be fired for that!’ Jackie concluded.
Scandal: Mel (left) had lectured Bronson (right) over his use of the C-word on Sunday’s episode of MAFS but failed to address Ines’ ‘abusive’ behaviour, sparking a viewer backlash
On Sunday’s explosive episode of Married at First Sight, Bronson called Ines the C-word during the first commitment ceremony.
While Ines voted to leave the experiment, Bronson decided to stay, forcing her to endure another week with him.
Explaining his decision, he said: ‘When we did the questionnaire thing, Ines was amazing that night, like, really amazing. I loved her to pieces that night.
‘Next morning, the Hulk came out. Straight back to a c**t. I’m not calling her a c**t, I’m saying she acts like a c**t’.
A stunned Ines replied: ‘I don’t think this could get any worse.’
Ouch! Bronson (right) said his ‘wife’ Ines Basic (left) was ‘acting like a c**t’
Psychologist Mel was horrified by Bronson’s slur, saying: ‘Don’t use language like that if you want any chance of a relationship with a woman.’
The pair were then told they would be forced into counselling, with fellow expert John Aiken insisting that Bronson needed to learn ‘respect’.
While he was criticised on the show, Bronson was widely praised on Twitter for standing up for himself.
He went there! Bronson’s castmates, including Elizabeth Sobinoff (pictured), were shocked by his colourful language
Many viewers claimed he was justified in calling Ines a ‘c**t’ after she had verbally abused him during their honeymoon in Port Douglas.
‘She’s been mouthing him off all week and she didn’t even get told off?’ one person tweeted, addressing the double standard.
‘The “experts” didn’t even mention her abusive tendencies but sure let’s go off about the word c**t’.
Another viewer wrote: ‘So verbal abuse is okay if it’s directed at a man, but it’s not okay to call the abuser out as a c**t?’
After the episode aired, Mel was slammed by viewers for lecturing Bronson over his use of the C-word, while seemingly letting Ines off their hook for her shocking behaviour.
A Change.org petition demanding that she is fired from the program has rapidly gained momentum, receiving more than 35,000 signatures in under 24 hours.
Backlash: A Change.org petition (pictured) demanding that Mel is fired from the program has rapidly gained momentum, receiving over 35,000 signatures in under 24 hours
In a statement on Monday, Channel Nine publicly supported Mel.
MAFS’ executive producer John Walsh told Daily Mail Australia: ‘There were 12 women in the room that night and a man used language that was highly insulting and inflammatory in reference to his wife.
‘Mel acted in the only way appropriate by calling out the language – language that is not ever considered acceptable anywhere, anytime.
‘We are shocked at the backlash Mel has received for defending another woman.’
Going to ground: Following the backlash, Mel locked down her social media accounts and Channel Nine restricted comments on the show’s official Instagram page
Following the backlash, Mel locked down her social media accounts and Channel Nine restricted comments on the show’s official Instagram page.
Mel also told 9Honey on Monday that she is ‘gender blind’ when it comes to giving relationship advice to Married At First Sight contestants.
‘Abusive or harmful behaviour is something I’m going to call out whether it’s men or women doing it,’ she said.
Meanwhile, the person who started the Change.org petition, Tyson Smith, confirmed to Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday that he has been blocked contacting Channel Nine on social media.
Married At First Sight continues Tuesday at 7:30pm on Channel Nine
Justified? While he was criticised on the show, and sternly disciplined by Mel, Bronson was widely defended on social media