Reality TV

OPINION: Did Bachelor in Paradise cross a line by airing Alex Nation and Richie Strahan’s deeply personal conversation?

Network Ten have been slammed over the controversial chat.
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Just when you thought Bachelor in Paradise was the palette-cleansing sorbet we all needed after the train-wreck that was Married at First Sight, we were hit with Alex Nation and Richie Strahan’s fiery face-off.

While the heated confrontation was filmed for TV, unlike any MAFS drama, the deeply personal conversation was not fabricated.

It was dealing with real life, real hearts, real people and a real relationship that clearly ended in very tragic circumstances.

While the topic of the argument was not explicitly said out loud, many on Twitter were quick to read between the not-so-subtle lines and were outraged that Ten would broadcast such a raw interaction in the first place.

While it may seem like Alex and Richie are the victims of a reality TV ploy, let’s not forget that they knew exactly what they were doing by coming on the show. Richie has starred on three series from the Bachelor franchise, while this is Alex’s second time on the Bachie train. These two are by no means newbies to the reality TV game.

They were there when the cameras were rolling, and knew that it would be a huge plot line if they dissected the confronting and intimate details of how they broke up.

For fans of the show, who tune in to watch some light-hearted Paddy Colliar banter and men with their shirts off, the face-off sparked a heavy conversation which Ten clearly didn’t want us to have.

READ NEXT: Bachelor in Paradise: Every single SHOCKING detail from Alex Nation and Richie Strahan’s fiery face-off

Alex and Richie had a deeply personal conversation on BIP and fans are outraged. (Source: Network Ten)

Even the most popular host on the network, Osher Gunsberg, came under fire on Twitter when he tweeted: “This is so tough to watch. But we’ve all been there.”

To which someone hit back: “Have we ALL been there? You tell me, Osher. What a disaster.”

“Both Richie & Alex were comfortable with it,” Osher later said. “And don’t forget as part of our Duty of Care, they both have access to Mental Health professionals before, during & after production.”

“Wouldn’t it have been more respectful not to air that conversation at all?” a user responded. “It’s blatantly obvious what they were talking about… So personal.”

So did Network Ten cross the line when it came to airing this conversation? And why would Richie and Alex feel that sharing something so personal be beneficial for a television program?

On KIIS FM’s Kyle and Jackie O this morning, newsreader Brooklyn Ross had the show “dumped” after reading a news bulletin about the chat.

Beforehand, Kyle had been speculating about what the pair could have been discussing – but the show was very quickly pulled from the airwaves with a recorded message saying: “This station you’ve been listening to has been dumped.”

“This means someone has said something inappropriate and is getting in trouble. The broadcast will return in seconds.”

To ease tension, Kyle said when they were brought back on air: “If Brooklyn keeps carrying on like he is, it will be his last day as a newsreader on Earth!”

WATCH NEXT: Bachelor in Paradise’s Alex Nation says her relationship with Richie Strahan was unsalvageable after his huge act of betrayal

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So why, if a commercial radio station cannot report this as news, how can a primetime network get away with dancing around a topic which was so blatantly obvious, without it being said?

And in the age of social media, surely Ten knew Twitter would be awash with what they were talking about.

Could the network have handled this better? Absolutely. A press release saying that the nature of the conversation may be triggering to some, or that it is more deeply personal than we could even possibly imagine.

Maybe even a pointer for assistance for those viewers, who like Osher said, “have been there before” would have been helpful.

Indeed, it could have been a pivotal moment for Australian TV to help raise awareness and engage in a really important conversation. But instead, they used the subject matter as ratings bait and we were all left feeling, to quote Richie himself, a little “grubby” about it.

So grubby in fact, that we felt like we’d intruded on something that wasn’t our business and should never have been hyped as it was or aired in the first place.

Now to Love reached out to Network Ten who declined to comment.

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