Channel Seven’s My Kitchen Rules has been accused by viewers of promoting bullying after the show aired confronting footage of Sonya and Hadil launching a verbal attack against their rivals during Wednesday’s show.
After teasing the ‘MKR scandal’ for weeks, fans slammed the cooking program for ‘celebrating’, ‘condoning’ and ‘tolerating’ bullying on prime time TV to boost ratings.
Twitter users told the network to ‘hang your heads in shame’, while others simply expressed their distaste for the episode’s content, with one fan writing: ‘Absolutely disgusted that My Kitchen Rules have allowed this level of bullying to be aired.’
‘Absolutely disgusted they allowed this on TV!’ Fans have turned on Channel Seven, accusing the network of ‘promoting bullying’ after airing an explosive fight that resulted in Sonya and Hadil (pictured) being kicked off the show for hurling insults at Jess and Emma
Before entrées were even served, Hadil and Sonya were escorted into a taxi after they deliberately tried to get rivals Jess and Emma to ‘explode’ at the dinner table by snickering at them and muttering insults.
However, their back-and-forth fight – which included personal attacks, callous taunts and shocking threats – carried on for some time before the judges intervened.
Viewers found the intense exchange unsettling, with negative tweets including: ‘Wow, if the Seven Network isn’t embarrassed by this they should be’ and ‘Two ladies just bullying others and name calling! That’s disgusting behaviour to be shown on television! No one should be BULLIED!’
Fans also criticised the network for exploiting the nasty dinner table conversation.
‘Channel Seven cannot condone bullying like that’, tweeted one irate viewer, while another wrote: ‘When MKR would rather promote bullying culture than actual food on their show.’
‘Channel Seven cannot condone bullying like that. There is enough bullying in schools!’ Viewers found the argument unsettling and criticised the network for exploiting the behaviour
‘You’re excused from the table’: Their back-and-forth fight – which included personal attacks, callous taunts and shocking threats – carried on for some time before the judges intervened
Planning a boycott! Despite Seven enjoying season-high ratings for the episode, which saw 2.389 million metro and regional viewers tune in, not all fans were pleased by its content
Despite Seven enjoying season-high ratings for the episode, which saw 2.389 million metro and regional viewers tune in, clearly not all fans were pleased by its content.
One viewer user suggested a boycott, tweeting: ‘Channel Seven should be ashamed for airing (and heavily promoting) blatant bullying and harassment. Register your displeasure by not tuning in. Ratings are the only language they speak.’
In an interview on Sunrise with contestants Emma and Jess, who copped much of the abuse from their rivals, Samantha Armytage weighed in on the heavily-promoted feud and described the scandal as ‘vile’.
‘It was very hard to watch. We have a firm anti-bullying campaign going on on Sunrise’: Breakfast TV host Samantha Armytage (left) weighed in on the heavily-promoted feud and described the scandal as ‘vile’
‘If they’re not embarrassed by this, they should be’: Twitter users pointed out that Seven’s stance on anti-bullying was at odds with MKR’s storyline
Samantha took a strong stance from the start of the interview, telling Emma and Jess: ‘Look, it was very hard to watch. We have a firm anti-bullying campaign going on on Sunrise.
‘And we’re getting a lot of feedback from our viewers that this was outright bullying by adults on prime time television.’
Sunrise launched its Beat The Bullies campaign in February following a spate of recent high-profile suicides across Australia.
One Twitter user pointed out that Seven’s stance on anti-bullying was at odds with MKR’s storyline, commenting: ‘What gets me is that Sunrise and Channel Seven are all on the anti-bullying bandwagon but yet their prime time shows promoted the bullying as a something to watch.’
‘This level of behaviour does not fit within the agreed workplace values of Channel Seven’: A spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday that the network did not condone the behaviour on display during Wednesday’s episode of MKR
A Seven spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday: ‘Last night’s episode of My Kitchen Rules dealt with an unprecedented level of continued personal attacks and threats by one team against other teams.
‘Despite a number of constructive conversations and second chances, this team continued to bully and attack other teams. This level of behaviour does not fit within the agreed workplace values of Channel Seven. Everyone, anywhere and at all times must feel safe and supported in their work place. This is a fundamental understanding and agreement by each and every Seven employee.’
It comes after an insider told News.com.au that the televised fight was tame in comparison to what actually happened.
‘You don’t see the worst of it. We’re a 7.30pm show and it still had to be kept suitable for families. There was certainly a lot that happened that didn’t make the show…it was pretty hardcore,’ the source said.
‘Don’t make me come for you’: The SHOCKING threat by Sonya and Hadil that resulted in them being sent home for ‘bullying’ was finally revealed on Wednesday’s episode
On Wednesday night, Sonya and Hadil were kicked off the show after their ‘bullying’ reached boiling point, with their unacceptable behaviour prompting judges Manu Feildel and Pete Evans to unceremoniously kick them off the show.
As guests at Suong and Kim’s home restaurant, they appeared to have no respect for their rivals from the start, as they held up the first course by inciting a feud at the table.
‘They must have missed the memo, the circus was down the road. They’re a bunch of clowns!’ Hadil said, as the blonde sisters maintained a dignified silence.
The arrival of Pete and Manu did little to rein in the inappropriate behavior, with Hadil whispering to Sonya: ‘Keep laughing at them and then they’ll explode.’
As the mocking and taunting continued, the teams around the table appeared disgusted at their behaviour and expressed shock and disappointment.
Stirring the pot! The NSW besties deliberately tried to start a feud with rivals Jess and Emma at the table, with Hadil telling Sonya to ‘keeping laughing at them and they’ll explode’
After Jess overheard a taunt by Hadil comparing the pair to ‘a no-frills cheapo princess’, she stormed out of the dining room, announcing: ‘Seriously! I can’t do this.’
‘Sit down! You think you’re a princess, but a real princess wears diamonds, not cubic zirconias,’ Sonya yelled across the room.
At that moment, Jess turned and asked them: ‘You think you’re funny?!’
She’s had enough! Jess stormed out the dining room as the vile attacks continued to escalate, before turning back at Sonya and Hadil to ask pointedly, ‘You think you’re funny?!’
War of words! Smirking as Jessica finally took the bait, Hadil taunted her by saying, ‘Bye, blowfish!’, as Emma finally snapped: ‘You look like bubba Gump, seriously!’
‘You have serious issues!’ Emma blasted Hadil for claiming she needed a doctor ‘to fix her face’
Smirking as Jessica finally took the bait, Hadil taunted her by saying, ‘Bye, blowfish!’, as Emma finally snapped: ‘You look like bubba Gump, seriously!’
Refusing to acknowledge her, Hadil childishly turned to Sonya and remarked: ‘Is the blowfish gasping for air?’
‘I’ve got a really good doctor you can go to to fix your ugly face,’ Hadil added, as Emma hit back: ‘You need to go to a doctor, because you have serious issues!’
The other teams then decided to intervene, with Jazzey asking Hadil to ‘stop being so rude’ and Josh asking them to have respect for hosts Kim and Suong.
‘I’ll come for all of you’: Sonya and Hadil threatened other guests at the dinner party for being ‘disrespectful a***holes’ – which prompted the celebrity judges to intervene
When Jess returned to the table, Hadil continued: ‘They don’t belong in top eight, because they can’t cook!’
Stella asked for Hadil to stop, which only angered her further and prompted her to shout: ‘You stop talking! Why are you talking?’
Emily then asked: ‘Who do you think you are?’
Josh told them to be respectful as guests in Kim and Suong’s home, but Hadil responded with a threat: ‘Shut up Josh! Stay out of it, don’t make me come for you.’
‘We’ll come for you too, don’t you worry!’ Hadil also snarled at Stella and Jazzey.
Sonya continued: ‘I’ll come for all of you, because you’re all disrespectful a***holes!’
‘You’re excused from the table’: Manu stepped in to end the heated argument and told Sonya and Hadil their behaviour was not welcome in the cooking competition
Gone forever? While Pete and Manu told the contestants that Sonya and Hadil had ‘left for the evening’, it is believed they will not return to the competition next week
Manu stepped in, saying: ‘Enough! Things have got too out of hand, this is a cooking competition, and this behaviour is unacceptable. Sonya and Hadil, you are excused from the table!’
Manu, 44, previously told Yahoo! Be of his decision to kick off the team: ‘It went too far. Pete and I felt very uncomfortable and it was time to stop and say that’s enough.’
The Frenchman didn’t regret the decision as ‘they were attacking, threatening, they kept on going under their breath with comment after comment after comment.’
Ahead of the episode, Jess and Emma told The Daily Telegraph: ‘We’ve copped so much flak for being the team that got kicked out before the show even started, but we’re glad viewers can finally see it wasn’t us.’
My Kitchen Rules returns to Channel Seven on Sunday at 7.00pm
Must-see TV! My Kitchen Rules returns to Channel Seven on Sunday at 7.00pm