The head of MAFS has proudly denied claims producers create “villains” on the show, after Olivia Frazer claimed she got a bad edit.
It’s the oldest trick in the Married At First Sight handbook: Blame the edit.
Controversial bride Olivia Frazer claimed in a recent interview that she copped the ‘villain’ edit this season, adding she felt “completely out of control” and that the producers used “manipulation” to dictate the storyline.
But in an interview with VarietyAustraliaNine Network’s head of content production and development Adrian Swift said there were often several things they didn’t want to go to air – but they had no choice because of how greatly the group had been impacted.
“We don’t make things happen and we don’t excise anything that has happened,” he told the publication.
Swift then gave an example of an incident he didn’t want to go to air, which happened back in season 7 when MAFS groom David Cannon infamously cleaned the toilet with his ‘wife’ Hailey Vernon’s toothbrush.
Given the scandal rocked the experiment and became contentious at subsequent dinner parties, producers would have been left with gaps in content had they cut it.
“More than anything in the world, we didn’t want to put that to air. We thought it was just stupid and mean and awful and undergraduate, just everything,” Swift said.
“But it was so material to all the relationships in that group, that we couldn’t excise it.
“So we’re kind of hoist on our own petard a bit here. We put things to air that we don’t want to go to air, but we certainly don’t believe all publicity is good publicity and we believe that it is absolutely possible to go too far on these shows.”
It comes after Olivia, 28, told Mamamia’s NoFilter podcast she was left “blindsided” by her portrayal when the show went to air.
Despite admitting to finding and leaking Domenica Calarco’s nude photo during the experiment, Olivia claimed the scandal was mostly the result of manipulative tactics from producers and tricky editing.
“The whole storyline looks like I’m out for revenge and a malicious person, and I’m not. I had the dumb luck of being the cast member who was sent the [photo]. Everybody who was in the room has stuck up for me and said it wasn’t shared maliciously,” Olivia said.
“I mentioned [the nude image] to my producer who didn’t think it was a big deal either, and didn’t think I thought it was a big deal … and I was just really blindsided by production because they were putting words in my mouth and saying I did it out of revenge.
“That ‘revenge’ word is such a massive trigger … like, they’ve got my face on the ad with the big red ‘revenge’ title above it … That’s a really serious accusation, and that’s not what happened.”
Speaking about the experience of being on the show, she claimed she’d felt “comfortable” with filming until about halfway through – around the time of her infamous showdown with Domenica, who smashed a wine glass on the dining table during a heated discussion with Olivia.
“It was always very obvious that we were there to make a show, and Jackson [Lonie] and I got along from day dot so I felt very comfortable,” she said.
“It wasn’t until about halfway through that I started to feel unsafe … like there was something very not OK with this situation.”