The new season of reality show Married At First Sight won’t feature a same-sex wedding because of a lack of LGBTIQ applicants, Channel Nine has said.
More than 10,000 desperate singles applied but only around 20 of them were LGBTIQ Australians, meaning producers struggled to find same-sex couples to be paired by the show’s trio of relationship experts, the Daily Telegraph reported.
A Channel Nine spokesperson said the network had hoped the show’s upcoming season, which begins on January 28, could’ve featured a same-sex wedding.
“In light of the adoption of the same-sex marriage law last year we did go into casting for series six of Married At First Sight with the hope of finding a gay couple,” a Nine spokesman said.
“There weren’t a huge number of gay applicants, but we interviewed quite a few individuals from around Australia.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t feel there was a good enough match and we didn’t want to include a gay couple just for the sake of appearances.”
Gay singles Craig and Andy were the first same-sex couple to be “married” on the show in 2016 in a legally non-binding wedding in New Zealand, but the relationship ended just a few days later.
Last year Craig took to social media to blast the show as “inhumane” and “downright torture” and 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 and 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.
When the show first began airing, LGBTIQ advocates slammed the show’s weddings as an “insult” at a time same-sex couples were fighting for marriage equality.