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Married at First Sight SA‘s second season will not feature any same-sex marriages, an executive producer revealed yesterday at a DStv showcase.
The series — a local spinoff of a US reality show — matches two individuals by comparing finances, religion, and “similarities“. But it’s no ordinary matchmaking show: like the title suggests, participants agree to a legal marriage as the first blind date.
It then documents their lives together and, after several weeks, couples can choose to stay married or go their separate ways.
So why does the SA show not feature any gay marriages, despite it being legal for over a decade? Apparently nobody applied — and that little hitch of broadcasting to the broader African continent.
According to TV critic Thinus Ferreira, an executive producer for the show said they “would love to [include] a gay couple” — they just haven’t found the right pairing yet.
— TVwithThinus (@TVwithThinus) September 21, 2017
Along with this “love”, the producers let slide that they have to consider the other countries receiving their broadcasts.
Last year, Caitlyn Jenner’s show I am Cait was pulled off African air due to Nigerian viewer complaints about the transgender content. Same-sex marriage is not recognised in the country, and in some areas can land men with the death sentence.
MultiChoice released a statement saying it recognised the importance of respecting people’s beliefs — but the removal signaled a dangerous hold one country can have over the continent.
Many on Twitter were upset about this insight into Married at First Sight‘s lack of inclusivity.
— Beyonka (@beyonka_fierce) September 21, 2017
guess what I wasn’t going to watch in the first place. pathetic reasoning. get with 2017 DSTV
— RinceThis (@Rincethis) September 21, 2017
But she also said they have to be sensitive to cultures in Africa. Thus implying that fear of being offence is a factor.
— Phil Mphela (@PhilMphela) September 21, 2017
Season two of Married at First Sight SA premieres 6 October on DStv’s Lifetime channel.