This year we’ve been presented with some pretty worrying behaviour from the male contestants on reality TV.
On Married at First Sight, Mike’s manipulation of his wife Heidi was slammed as a classic case of gaslighting, and then a few weeks later we witnessed the very same behaviour on Bachelor in Paradise with Bill and Flo.
Experts are pretty worried that it’s normalising a form of domestic violence for viewers.
The Quicky went deep on the history of gaslighting. Post continues after podcast.
Here is an example of one of the exchanges between Bill and Flo that had us squirming in our seats:
Flo: “When I was sitting on the balcony with you, you asked again ‘are you sure you don’t want to stay over’. That’s literally what you said. ”
Bill: “Bullshit. I never said that. You’re so malicious you f***ing want to make s*** up because I didn’t give you a rose.”
Flo: “Are you for real? Why would I make that up?”
Bill: “Because you’re malicious and it didn’t go your way.”
Psychotherapist Stephanie Sarkis told The Quicky, that it’s hard to properly analyse the situation given there are cameras, editing, and producers in the contestants ears, but she says if it was just two people alone – it is definitely an example of gaslighting.
You can watch some of the fallout here. Post continues after video.
“Because one person saying you said this when the other person says they didn’t say anything like this… It’s different from poor communication, because this is something you know absolutely the person said when they start arguing or calling you names,” Sarkis explained.
“In this clip he’s with other people, so I don’t know whether he’s showboating – it’s hard to know what his motive is. Is it to have people align with him against her? Is it to have better chances with someone else? Is he just doing it just to do it? It’s hard to tell if it’s on purpose or not,” she hypothesised.
Bill later attempted to “apologise” to Flo on Instagram.
“I’d like to wholeheartedly apologise to @florencealexandras for speaking about her like I did, no one deserves that,” he wrote.
“Every single one of us were in Fiji for our own reasons. Whether that was the experience, love, relationships, money, opportunities or business either way, no judgement from me.”