The Below Deck Down Under captain and crew have broken their silence about the two crew members fired for inappropriate behaviour in the latest episodes of the series.
Taking to Instagram, Captain Jason Chambers posted a video talking about the incident after he received “a flood of messages”.
“I’d like to thank the production team for breaking the fourth wall and stepping in. Then, reforming and allowing Aesha [Scott] to come to me in an authentic manner and us dealing with it as we would as captain and crew,” he said.
“I don’t know what goes on when crew go out, I’m not told. If it’s inadequate behaviour, you’ve seen that production would actually inform me. But unless a crew member complains, like Adam [Kodra], then I wouldn’t know. And as soon as Aesha brought it to my attention I addressed it straight away. It’s real, it’s real-time.
“This happened over a year ago and I will stress that the people involved are all hopefully on a better journey, to better themselves. Less hate please, more love. Let’s send it home and know that this is not acceptable,” Chambers concluded.
Chambers wasn’t the only one to take to social media about the incident.
Scott, who admitted on the episode that she’d also experienced drunken sexual assault in the past, shared her support for her colleague Margot Sisson in an Instagram post.
“What a light of the season you were for me!!! Women should always support women and I will always support you,” she wrote.
Following an outpouring of support from fans watching the show, she shared another post thanking viewers for their kind words.
“We all need to remember to be vigilant when we are out together,” she wrote.
“I know we should always feel safe in the first place but life isn’t always like that, so watch your friends and make sure no one goes home alone. In all my years of yachting the rule was ALWAYS, if a female team member wanted to go home and we were all out drinking, a male team member would escort her back to the boat safely, even if it meant a half an hour walk for them each way. Have each others backs.
“Also so proud of how many people have been talking about consent and women supporting women, especially all the men out there that have spoken out in support. It shows me we are moving into a much more positive space in the world and I’m very happy about that!!”
The chef on board the ship, Tzarina Mace-Ralph, has echoed Scott’s sentiments in an IG post.
“Women should be able to be black out drunk if they want to. We should be able to stand in a room naked and not have anyone do anything to us,” Mace-Ralph said, alongside a petition she has started to make criminal background checks a legal requirement for seafarers internationally.
Laura Bileskalne, who was one of the crew members fired for innapropriate behaviour, has also shared a post about the incident.
“My sincere apologies to Adam, I did not realize I made him feel uncomfortable and no one should be put in that position. And to Margot to not been able to empathise,” she wrote, alongside a picture of her and Luke Jones, who was also fired.
“I was 29 when the show was filmed, 30 was my life-changer. I am 31 now and I am watching it as all of you, an entertainment show.”
ICYMI, Captain Jason Chambers fired bosun Luke Jones and steward Laura Bileskalne while they were filming the reality show, and working real luxury boat charters in Cairns. While the show follows the crew as they attend to the whims of the high-earning charter guests, it also documents their time off which is usually spent partying.
On the most recent episode of the series released this week, the group went out for a night of clubbing. When they returned to the boat, the chief steward Aesha Scott, who also appeared in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, voiced her concerns surrounding Jones’ inappropriate and flirty demeanor towards another steward on deck, Margot Sisson, who was visibly intoxicated.
“I don’t want any drunkenness to be taken advantage of,” Scott said to Sission, before putting her to bed and getting her water.
“I’m glad that you’re here. I don’t want to go in the jacuzzi, I want to go to bed. All I want is water and bed, no Luke,” Sission responded.
While Sission was in bed, Jones entered her cabin naked and got under the covers before producers of the show intervened.
“We can’t do that. She said no,” a producer said. Jones proceeded to go back to his bunk and lock himself in his room. Worried about her employee, Scott went to check on Sission and asked if she consented to him being in bed with her.
“No, I was asleep. I did not invite that at all,” she responded.
Scott, who was in tears over the situation, proceeded to wake up the captain who immediately fired Jones, telling him to get off the boat immediately.
The next morning Sisson admitted that she was relieved Jones was removed from the boat.
“I woke up feeling weird and I knew that what happened wasn’t OK,” she said.
“I was like, ‘Am I gonna wake up and he’s still here and I just have to act cool?’ But I’m glad that’s not the case, because that would be really hard for me. I just feel stupid.”
The captain fired Jones, telling him that his behaviour had crossed a line.
“Last night there were boundaries crossed. There was indecency and you went into someone else’s cabin without consent. Unfortunately, I’ve got nothing else but to terminate your employment.”
Sadly, this wasn’t the only instance of inappropriate behaviour.
During the same outing, stew Laura Bileskalne repeatedly made romantic advances toward deckhand Adam Kodra, including attempting to give him a massage in his bed, despite him repeatedly saying he was not interested in engaging in any sexual or romantic behaviours with her.
When Scott checked in with Kodra the next day, he said: “I think she thinks I’m playing around because I’m being nice about it with her. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble or anything like that but maybe I’ve got to be more serious.”
This incident was also brought to the captain’s attention. He sat down with Bileskalne to terminate her employment.
“Two things: One, Adam feels uncomfortable with some moments out and he’s tried to say no and you have not listened to him and his boundaries to be set,” he said.
“I’m trying to move forward as a team, I’m trying to get that behind us and you’ve brought it straight back up, so in that I’m going to terminate your employment today.”
While Laura requested that she get a warning instead, the captain made it clear that his decision was final.
PEDESTRIAN.TV has reached out to Hayu for comment.
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