The content of this year’s Bachelor has been the source of outrage across social media today.
Not because of the previous episodes’ appalling bullying, or Cassie’s portrayal as a ‘stage-5 clinger’ thanks to unfavourable editing, or even for our inability to understand the Honey Badger’s bizarre dialect.
But for the way in which a woman’s sexuality was seemingly exploited by a network for ratings last night.
Listen to the latest episode of Bach Chat below, post will continue after.
For days we were teased with a dramatic advert surrounding Brooke’s ‘big revelation’.
We desperately hoped it wouldn’t be with regards to her sexuality, because how, in 2018, is a woman identifying as gay, bisexual or pansexual ‘shocking’?
Alas, much to the dismay of some viewers, the 23-year-old social worker’s ‘secret’ was that she’d had two prior relationships with women.
One thing's for sure: it's kick-started started an important conversation surrounding the representation of the LBGT community on reality TV.
Big Brother 2013 winner Tim Dormer believed the entire exchange reeked of a pushy producer egging Brooke for higher ratings.
Speaking to Mamamia, he called The Bachelor 'a pathetic program'.
"She's being exploited for a ratings stunt because it's quite topical," he said of Brooke's confession.
"I'm worried for this girl, the producers obviously knew this before the show or heard her talking about her sexuality and thought ‘oh great’ rubbing their hands together thinking 'what a great contestant'."
"It's almost like a card up their sleeve that they're waiting to play out when the ratings dip...Last week they had the big episode where the three bullies left, and now its like 'what's next?'...I know exactly how they work, I've been on that many reality TV shows."
Dormer, who has previously identified as pansexual but prefers not to adhere to a label, added that he saw another concerning aspect of Brooke's conversation with the Honey Badger - and he's not alone.
When asked by the Honey Badger "how she felt now" after her past relationships with women, Brooke's response was that she wanted to be with a man to start a family.
Australian Survivor star and AFLW player Moana Hope took to Instagram after the episode aired, and in reference to the statement posted on her story: 'three simple words: IVF', later adding a video with her girlfriend Isabella Carlstrom joking that she needed to break up with her so she could find a boyfriend to have a child.
While in Dormer's eyes, a ratings-hungry producer was at the core of Brooke's 'revealation', he agreed with Hope's sentiment, calling Brooke's wording 'damaging' to the LGBT community.
"That's such an outdated, strange way of explaining sexuality," he said.
"I look back to last year when our country was debating the marriage equality campaign, and how there were LGBT couples who were trialled as to whether we would make suitable parents. When there's something like on mainstream TV it's sort of saying the most suitable way to have children is to be in a heterosexual relationship, which is really hurtful to LGBT people like myself."
One woman who shared a very different opinion about the episode was former Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise star Megan Marx.
Marx, who identifies as bisexual, recently split with fellow Bachelor in Paradise star Jake Ellis, and was previously in a relationship 2016 Bachelor contestant Tiffany Scanlon. The two women notably met while both vying for Richie Strahan's heart.
She watched last night's episode with intrigue and said overall she thought the episode was positive towards the LGBT community.
"I have two minds about it," she said. "I think one, yes, they made it look like it was a shocking secret, but they made it less shocking with Nick's response."
"It's reality TV and you have to create shock value about everything," she added.
"If there were people out there who were watching it thinking 'oh my gosh this is how I feel about coming out' because she was scared to tell Nick, but then Nick was so lovely about it, honestly as much as people are talking about the baiting of the public, I actually think the outcome was positive."
She said while she didn't understand some of what Brooke said, she watched it with "fear in her heart" because trying to describe your sexuality to someone "can be difficult and confusing".
"I did find what she said a bit contradictory, when she said 'I want to be with a man to have a baby', and saying she's more attracted to men but then at the same time saying she looks at the person not the gender... but sexuality can be a little confusing. She wasn't trying to label what she was, so in a way what she said was perfect.
"What people need to understand is that it was actually a big deal for Brooke to come out like that. Going on to a TV show and saying that is not a normal environment for dating, and I think people forget that."
In terms of the overall representation of the LGBT community, she said: "It really is baby steps...Gay marriage only just became a thing, and Australia was really late on that..It's started a conversation so the outcome in the end was good."
While Marx didn't have a problem with the episode, Dormer said his biggest issue with it was the insinuation that coming out is an "awkward situation that might cost you something".
"That is not the right way we should be presenting something in an LGBT person's life," he said.
"The moment of coming out is such a personal, emotional experience and then it's presented in a way like you have to 'confess' something. It just really gets me angry...Sexuality is not a novelty, I know it is very engaging, it does press peoples buttons and polarise people, but it's not right.
"For me, I had the decision - do I talk about my sexuality on reality TV? When I did Big Brother in Canada, I wrestled with whether I should talk about it on the show, you know, 'I have someone nobody knows about, he is male'...I decided I wasn't going to do it in that way because I wanted to talk to my family and friends about it..I just didn't want that moment in my life to be taken by somebody else and made into a promo."
He had these words of advice for Brooke:
"When you've been on reality TV, you get swept up in this circus of the media, whether that's when you're filming, or the producers who have a vested interest in the show and not your own personal well-being, or the media storm that happens afterwards, that suddenly disappears.
"This is a really personal moment for Brooke and you do get remembered for things on reality TV shows, so dealing with her personal life in the press is going to be hard."