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Media watchdog set to investigate MAFS Australia after viewer complaints about ‘abusive behaviour’

Media watchdog is set to investigate Married At First Sight after receiving a high number of complaints about abusive behaviour on the show

Married At First Sight is being investigated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) after receiving a high volume of complaints.

According to a report by The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, the media watchdog received 67 complaints from viewers amid claims of mental abuse, gaslighting and domestic conflict during this year’s season. 

‘The ACMA has commenced an investigation into episodes of the 2021 season of Married At First Sight,’ an ACMA spokesperson told the publication. 

Under investigation: Married At First Sight is being investigated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) after receiving a high volume of complaints. Pictured, Bryce Ruthven and Melissa Rawson

‘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 and emotional conflict.’

Channel Nine – the network behind MAFS – sent out an apology letter back in April after a Change.org petition garnered over 15,000 signatures.

The petition claimed that Channel Nine and production company Endemol Shine had failed in their duty of care to the show’s participants, with viewers describing some scenes as ‘distressing’. 

Problematic: According to a report by The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, the media watchdog received 67 complaints from viewers amid claims of mental abuse, gaslighting and domestic conflict during this year's season

Problematic: According to a report by The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, the media watchdog received 67 complaints from viewers amid claims of mental abuse, gaslighting and domestic conflict during this year’s season

‘Nine takes seriously the concerns raised by its viewers and makes every effort to ensure that the material it presents is consistent with community standards and complies with Nine’s regulatory obligations,’ the network said in a letter. 

The majority of the complaints were levelled against Bryce Ruthven, who was paired with Melissa Rawson, with the couple now engaged and expecting twins.    

Throughout the show, Bryce repeatedly told Melissa, both 32, that she wasn’t his type because she didn’t have blue eyes. 

'The ACMA has commenced an investigation into episodes of the 2021 season of Married At First Sight,' an ACMA spokesperson told The Daily Telegraph

‘The ACMA has commenced an investigation into episodes of the 2021 season of Married At First Sight,’ an ACMA spokesperson told The Daily Telegraph

He also voted her the ‘fourth hottest’ out of this year’s brides, flirted with co-star Beck Zemek at the gym and later lied about their conversation.

In addition to getting into a series of altercations with the show’s other participants, Bryce was accused of emotional manipulation and gaslighting.

Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Channel Nine for comment.    

At the centre: The majority of the complaints were levelled against Bryce, who was paired with Melissa, with the couple now engaged and expecting twins

At the centre: The majority of the complaints were levelled against Bryce, who was paired with Melissa, with the couple now engaged and expecting twins

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk