A gay man has claimed he was dropped from Married at First Sight Australia just days before filming started because producers “could not find a match” for him.
On the Channel Nine show, “relationship experts” match couples, who get married the first time they meet at the altar. Over the rest of the season, the newlyweds try to make the marriage work.
Melbourne-based actor Wil Karroum that he felt “strung along” by producers of the Australian version of the show for five months, before being rejected by email.
Karroum told Daily Mail Australia he was told “over 1,000 gay people had applied” for the show’s 2020 season. He was confused as to why none of them were a good match for him.
“I understand rejection is a part of life,” he said.
“But I feel like I’ve been played as a fool and had a carrot dangled in front of me.
“I foolishly believed the process and I genuinely want to find love.
“I’m a gay Muslim man and I get no support from my family, I need all the help I can get.”
He said he postponed moving house and cancelled a holiday while he waited for a decision and the production company told him to “be patient”.
While preparing for the show, he completed several questionnaires, did phone interviews and was eventually invited to meet an executive producer.
He called the questioning during the face-to-face interview, which included his favourite sexual position, “very intrusive” and “severely personal”.
He claimed producers “also asked if I’d be afraid of the backlash from both the Muslim and Lebanese communities across Australia”.
Gay Australians have snubbed the show in the past
Channel Nine previously confirmed the last season of Married At First Sight – which began in January – didn’t feature a same-sex wedding because of a shortage of LGBTIQ applicants.
More than 10,000 singles applied but only around 20 of them were LGBTIQ Australians, the network said.
This meant producers struggled to find same-sex couples to pair by the show’s trio of relationship experts.
“There weren’t a huge number of gay applicants, but we interviewed quite a few individuals from around Australia,” a spokesperson said.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t feel there was a good enough match. We didn’t want to include a gay couple just for the sake of appearances.”
‘Married At First Sight’ gay couple didn’t fare well
Gay singles Craig and Andy were the first same-sex couple to be “married” on Married At First Sight in 2016. But their relationship ended just a few days later.
Craig later took to social media to blast the show as “inhumane” and “downright torture”. He claimed the wedding left him with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I didn’t think in my wildest dreams that it would have been this tragic… I was left feeling emotionally raped,” he said at the time.
“You only have to look at the footage of me and you will see the pain. It’s so real and I couldn’t hide it.”
Channel Nine said at the time the show has “a dedicated show psychologist and support team available to every participant” during the production and broadcast.
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