Married At First Sight cast call out vile transphobic abuse hurled at Ella after dinner party drama
The cast of Married At First Sight UK have called out the vile transphobic abuse being hurled at Ella Morgan Clark by viewers after Thursday night’s (19 October) scandalous dinner party.
The E4 series took a messy turn this week, after it was uncovered that Clark had made a connection with one of the new grooms, JJ Slater.
Clark, who came out to her castmates as transgender earlier this season, was originally coupled up with Nathanial Valentino, but the two failed to forge any sort of romantic connection despite Clark’s best efforts.
The self-proclaimed blonde bombshell finally found the spark she was looking for when groom JJ Slater joined the season late to spice things up… with his bride Bianca Petronzi.
It all came to a head at Thursday night’s weekly dinner party, when the budding romance was put out in the open – in front of Clark’s husband and Slater’s wife.
A disagreement between Clark and Valentino about their failed relationship came to a boiling point when Valentino made a snide comment about Clark’s new spark with Slater – much to the surprise of Petronzi, who was completely unaware that her husband had made a new connection.
While both Slater and Clark tried to apologise to Petronzi, the new bride didn’t want to hear it and lashed out at her castmates, calling the pair out for going behind her back.
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It was a tough watch for viewers at home and for the MAFS cast, who had to relive the experience all over again.
Still, brides and grooms were quick to call out any transphobic comments they saw directed towards their castmate.
Taking to her Instagram Story on Thursday night, bride Laura Vaughan said in a statement: “Tonight’s episode was madness, emotions at an all-time high and people got hurt.
“However, the transphobic hate I am seeing is disgusting. Please don’t use what happened in tonight’s episode as a weapon to write such vile and disgusting comments about @ellamorganc.
“If you want to call out ‘cheating’ – do that, by all means, but don’t bring Ella’s journey into it. I’ve got love for all parties involved in this and it’s a difficult watch for everyone.”
That statement was re-shared by groom Sean Malkin, who added: “Anyone using this as an excuse to discredit @ellamorganc’s journey needs to give their head a good wobble. This was an experiment guys, and there are bumps along the way. Not excusing anyone’s actions but spreading hate against an already targeted group is not okay.”
And bride Adrienne Naylor added on her own Instagram Story: “Many don’t and didn’t at the time agree with the actions of @ellamorganc and JJ but [those] actions have nothing to do with Ella’s transition! I understand tonight was INTENSE, however, please take a moment to think before writing your comments.
Clark herself took to Instagram on Thursday night to apologise for her actions and clarify what really happened between her and Slater. She also took a moment to call out the horrific transphobic abuse that viewers had hurled at her.
“I understand how Bianca felt, as I felt with my husband, undesired and unwanted,” wrote Clark in a lengthy statement on her Instagram Story.
“I should have taken that into account. It’s not an excuse by any means but you are placed deep into a pressure cooker and it’s hard to see clearly in these moments.”
She went on to share that her biggest regret was not telling Petronzi about the spark she had with Slater, as she had told Valentino.
“I thought it was JJ’s place to tell Bianca as I had told Nathanial,” she recalled.
“Me and JJ did not do anything behind anyone’s back intimately. We did not kiss. Yes, we did exchange texts. (I did not ‘put it on him’, as suggested in this episode). We exchanged friendly texts innocently.”
Explaining the spark she felt with Slater, Clark continued: “I wasn’t thinking properly and was just so happy that someone who was my type felt the same about me.
“I felt a spark that I’d never had before and I felt overwhelmed that a straight guy liked me for me and accepted me for the first time in my life. JJ saw me as Ella and that was a feeling I’ve not experienced before. I wanted to ignore my feelings but this was easier said than done.”
Although she insists that she did not kiss Slater, Clark did apologise for flirting with him while he was still “married” to Petronzi.
Clark concluded that, even if she was in the wrong, there was no excuse for the abuse she was getting from viewers.
“I don’t feel I deserve to have transphobic abuse written about me,” she wrote.
“My transition has nothing to do with what happened tonight. It is entirely irrelevant.
“I can’t say much more at this time but there are many things I will address when I am allowed. We are all human and we all make mistakes.”
An hour later, she posted a follow-up Story to announce that she would be taking a break from social media in light of the “constant abuse” she has been faced with.
“Condemning me with hate messages isn’t the right answer and two wrongs don’t make a right,” she wrote. “I don’t want it to continue to take a toll on me and my mental health so I think a break is needed.”
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