reality tv

A conversation has blown up between 3 podcasters about a woman on MAFS. We asked her honest thoughts.

Over the weekend, online drama has been unleashed between three reality stars: Abbie Chatfield, Domenica Calarco and Ella Ding.

It all began with a two-part podcast episode on the former reality brides Sit With Us series, that featured an interview with controversial 2024 MAFS couple, Jack Dunkley and Tori Adams.

In response to some of the dismissive comments made by the podcast hosts over Jack's notorious 'muzzle' comment, Abbie Chatfield wrote a message on the podcast's Instagram page.

"Really disappointing to see the victim blaming here, and the allowance for a man to speak in such a dehumanising way about a woman because she … spoke too much?" Abbie wrote on the below video.


"I feel a bit sick to be honest girls. I’d take this episode down if I were you, apologise, and try to educate yourselves on the inner workings on patriarchy and how you have upheld it in this interview."

The comment section has been flooded by women expressing their disappointment with the tone and soft line of questioning in the interview.

But there's someone missing from this conversation, the woman the muzzle comment was directed at: Lauren Dunn. 

We spoke to Lauren about the insinuation in the interview that Jack was 'pushed' by her to say the words 'Can you muzzle your woman' to Jono McCullough about his TV wife.

On the podcast, both hosts attempted to transfer the blame, claiming Jack was triggered by Lauren.

"They needed someone to push you to your limit and as you've got a temper, she [Lauren] was that person," Ella said. "They knew that, they would always put her in front of you," Dom added.

Lauren doesn't plan on listening to the Sit With Us podcast but found one clip unavoidable.

"My mum actually sent me the clip of them saying that I essentially deserved to be spoken to the way I was because I pushed him," she said. "As if it was my fault for pushing him because I should have known he had a temper."

Lauren has concerns about this kind of language being used around the way men treat women — especially in the current social climate with the steep rise of men's violence against women.


"I think in today's climate, we have to look at what's going on and the amount of DV against women is astronomical; it has been forever, but now we're finally starting to take notice. One of the classic excuses for an abuser — whether it's physical violence or verbal violence — they say she pushed me to do it, she pushed me," Lauren said. 

"The fact that they're saying that is reinforcing that abusive mindset. It's really disappointing to see two women — with a public platform — doing something like that. They're reinforcing that rhetoric surrounding violent language towards women. It's so irresponsible and just revolting."

MAFS besties Lauren Dunn and Sara Mesa. Image: Nine. 


In response to the 'pushed' comment, Abbie wrote on the video “I can’t believe I’m seeing you both dismiss what he said because he was ‘pushed’. That’s the excuse for all abusive men," she wrote.

"This is really worrying. Particularly in the current climate, this is really incredibly awful."  

Along with the comments made that Jack was 'pushed', the podcasters claimed that if Jack hadn't mentioned a muzzle and had told Lauren to 'shut the f*ck up', then this would have met with a similar level of outrage.

"Let's play devil's advocate here," Dom said. "If Jack had said 'shut the f*ck up, Lauren', which one is worse?... You would have had the same response." 

Lauren disagrees. "I don't think it's the same at all. Jack and I had some pretty epic verbal battles during the show. All the time, the insults that were slung back and forth on both ends were fair game. But the muzzle comment to me was unacceptable because of the historical context of that word," she said.

Jack Dunkley drops controversial 'muzzle' insult. Image: Nine. 


The MAFS bride then spoke about the term's original meaning which is steeped in misogyny: it was a torture technique used on 'misbehaving' women by men in England and Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries. 

"If you don't understand that and you're using that language, then educate yourself," she added. 

The Perth local spoke on another layer to the muzzle comment which went unacknowledged in the chat between Dom, Ella and the MAFS couple: Jack suggested that her groom, Jono, had ownership of her, by instructing him to "muzzle, your woman."

"I was less than human," Lauren reflected. "It was as if it was up to the man to control what I was saying. Like, 'We don't let our women talk to the men at the table like this'."

Despite spending a chunk of the podcast defending the comment, Jack said the muzzle remark was "one of his biggest regrets on the show".


After seeing Abbie's response online, Lauren is grateful for the podcaster speaking up. 

"I was really happy that Abbie stood up and said something — she's such an articulate, intelligent, educated woman. They [Ella and Dom] really need her to educate them. And if they don't listen and understand and teach themselves, they don't deserve to have that platform," she said. 

Podcaster and TV host, Abbie Chatfield. Image: Instagram/@abbiechatfield. 


"What they're doing is actually really damaging to what Australia, as a society, are trying to achieve when it comes to protecting women from these awful things that have been happening to us historically."

In the second part of the podcast, Jack blatantly denied another controversial comment he made on MAFS. He claims that he never said the body-shaming 'whale' comment to Tristan and Timothy, making a bizarre claim he had said it about himself, and the only people present were Lauren and Jade Pywell. 

"It was a stupid self-deprecating joke," he claimed. "They [Timothy and Tristan] were not even at the pool. I'm not that stupid to say that as a personal trainer of 10 years."

However, Lauren disputes this version of events. 

"That's a lie. He's spun a million different stories about how it happened," she said. "That's ridiculous. He said it about Tristan and Timothy at the pool and they were there at the time. Jono can back this up."  

MAFS might have ended a month ago, but it seems we will continue to debate what happened over and over until the end of eternity. Fingers crossed no more post-MAFS interviews are coming, but considering the crew just got their socials back, this is probably just the beginning. 

Feature image: Instagram/@abbiechatfield/@sitwithus/@lauren_funn_. 

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