reality tv

"Australia, meet the most frustrating character on reality TV right now."

They say it takes all types to make a world.

One of those is Zach.

Zach Kozyrski is a 39-year-old personal trainer from WA and a self-described “weapon”. You might have seen him most recently on Australian Survivor 2018 Champions vs. Contenders as the leader of the ‘boys club’ contenders alliance.

Zach also likes to open his mouth and say crappy things.

This week, Survivor viewers (including past contestants, the show’s host Jonathan LaPaglia… this writer) have felt irked by comments Zach has and no doubt will continue to make about other contestants.

In particular, towards his female tribe members. Or as he calls them: useless little girls, snowflakes he’s struggling to carry on his back. Women who are worth nothing except for washing dishes.

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It’d be easy to say Zach’s problem is with women, but that would only address one part of the issue. Because, as it would appear, Zach’s problem is with anyone who disagrees with him and his opinion.

Someone who experienced this first hand is fellow Survivor 2018 cast member Paige Kerin. Following on from footage of Zach watching the 24-year-old marketing coordinator from Adelaide around camp and saying “dat ass”, she then was referred to as “only a six [out of 10] in an Instagram post on Zach’s now-private account.

Watching the edited footage of her time on the island back months later, she feels Zach’s behaviour is being portrayed pretty accurately.

“Really honestly, the way he’s being portrayed in the show is pretty true, pretty accurate,” she told Mamamia.

“None of his behaviour surprised me. We’re all different and have different views, but I tended to rub people like Zach the wrong way because I did stand up to him. When he projected his views – he’s perfectly entitled to have those views – but I challenged them in conversations, and I don’t think he liked or was use to that.

“His attitude towards masculinity is obviously that, comments like that are manly, funny and perfectly OK because ‘I’m a guy and guys talk sh*t’, but I know so many men who detest that behaviour. It’s pretty easy in this day and age to know what’s acceptable and what’s not.”

You can watch a snippet of Zach’s behaviour towards Paige below. Post continues after video.

Video via Ten

Hearing comments like the ones Zach has made, repeatedly, this week feels yucky to watch. Paige said, on top of all the other challenges you’re faced with on Survivor – feeling hungry and tired, and missing your family – they’re even harder to hear.

“It’s really difficult whenever you’re faced with someone, whether it is a man or a woman, who tries to intimidate you and make you feel not as worthy. It’s never nice, really taking hits to your confidence. I’m thankfully really confident and secure person, so I went about it by rising above it and not letting [him] make me feel less,” she said.

“It’s so much more than ‘a man said this about a woman’, though. In this case, it’s a man that has made a derogatory comment about a woman, but it really speaks to the issue of how we behave in a public sphere. To deliberately embarrass and insult someone, it’s not OK. Whether it’s sexist, racist or derogatory comment in general, we can’t control hat people say in their homes and to their friends, but we can all control what we let everyone see, but young people in particular.”

So Zach, we need to have a quick chat because the way you’re going about things at the moment isn’t on.

Just to clarify – treating other people with respect, regardless of their gender, isn’t optional in 2018

It’s mandatory.

What do you think of Zach’s behaviour on Survivor? Do you think he’s being portrayed unfairly?

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