Captain Jason Chambers is speaking out following this week’s explosive Below Deck Down Under episodes and subsequent double firing.
In a video statement posted to his official Instagram account earlier this morning (August 9), Captain Jason detailed his thoughts around the shocking consent issues depicted during Monday’s back-so-back episodes which saw Luke Jones and Laura Bileskaline fired.
“I’m sure you’re digesting episode 6 and 7, as I am,” he said, speaking directly to the camera. “I’ve had a flood of messages over the last 24 hours from people in similar situations, some not so lucky of the outcome so my heart goes out to them. I would like to thank the production team for breaking the fourth wall and stepping in, then re-forming and allowing Aesha [Scott] to come to me in authentic manner and us dealing with it as we would as Captain and crew.”
Referencing the extensive drinking and disturbing scenes of the crew’s night out, Jason explained he was unaware of what happened until Aesha told him. “I don’t know what goes on when crew go out, I’m not told,” he said. “If it’s inadequate behaviour, you’ve seen that production would actually inform me but unless a crew member complains of anything, like Adam [Kodra], I would not know and as soon as Aesha brought it to my attention, I addressed it straight away.”
He continued, “So it’s real, it’s real time… Look, this happened over a year ago and again I’ll stress that the people involved are all hopefully on a better journey to better themselves and less hate, please, more love. Let’s send it home and know that this is not acceptable.”
During the August 7 episodes of Below Deck Down Under season 2, Luke was seen climbing into Margot Sisson’s bed naked while she was passed out before production intervened.
Laura, for her part, faced immediate backlash from both the crew and viewers of the show when she sided with Luke, which led to Captain Jason looking into her “uncomfortable” behaviour towards Adam.
“Adam feels uncomfortable with some moments out [with you] and he’s tried to say no. You have not listened to him and his boundaries to be set,” Jason told Laura. “After my multiple speeches with the crew about boundaries and respect, did you not go to Margot and say, ‘Poor Luke. I wish he had come in and seen me?’ You’ve disrespected exactly what I actually set out to do.”
He continued, “I am trying to move forward as a team. I’m trying to get that behind us and you have brought it straight back up. I am going to terminate your employment today. I can’t go on with you as part of the team in the environment I am trying to set.”
Below Deck Down Under Double firing
Both Luke and Laura were fired and will not appear on another episode.
Not only do fans seem happy with how Captain Jason handled the consent issues and inappropriate behaviour on this week’s Below Deck Down Under, both his reactions and production’s decision to showcase the incidents are being lauded by the media and viewers alike. Rolling Stone, for example, called the episodes “impactful.”
“The incident really made me think about what could have happened if the cameras had not been there,” writes Louis Staples. “Below Deck is a franchise that primarily trades on fantasy and escapism, but the hard reality is that yachting is an industry that is male-dominated and hierarchical, where employment is precarious. The wider industry story of women being vulnerable to behavior like this is one that, until now, has not been told.”
The consent issues and subsequent double firings on the Below Deck spinoff come at a time when Bravo and reality TV are being put under the microscope, in part by former Bravolebrity Bethenny Frankel.
As previously reported on TVDeets.com, the former Real Housewives of New York City star is going after NBCUniversal and attempting to form a reality TV union, alleging multiple cases of “grotesque and depraved mistreatment” on part of the media organization.