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Is Below Deck scripted? Here’s everything we know about Bravo show’s authenticity

Below Deck: Is Bravo yachting show scripted?
Below Deck Season 9 has endured a lot of backlash from viewers. Pic credit: Bravo

Is Below Deck scripted? It’s a question that has been asked before about the yachting show. Thanks to the Season 9 drama, new questions about the authenticity of the Bravo show are running rampant.

One thing that has always set Below Deck apart from other reality TV shows is that the cast is actually crew members doing a job. Not all of the crew members have yachting experience, which adds to the drama.

The charter guests also up the entertainment value on Below Deck, some in a good way, such as recent guests Tony Thornton and his wife Porscha. There are also drama-filled charter guests like drunk Michael Durham and Justin Richards.

Over the years, Below Deck has become a mega-hit for Bravo. The more successful the show became, the more Below Deck viewers want to know if it was scripted.

Why do Below Deck fans think the show is scripted?

The Season 9 drama involving Heather Chase saying the N-word has Below Deck fans asking if the show’s scripted. Bravo has yet to release a statement about the racial slur.

Heather’s actions have impacted deckhand Rayna Lindsey for a good part of the season. However, the handling of it on-screen and off-screen has sparked backlash from Below Deck viewers. Eddie Lucas dropped a bombshell that production told him not to speak about the racial slur on camera.

Kaylee Milligan joining the crew as a new stew also raised eyebrows because of her close friendship with Heather. The casting gave off Below Deck Med Season 5 vibes when Malia White’s then-boyfriend chef Tom Checketts was suddenly available to do the show.

Both instances seem very scripted to fans.

Is Below Deck scripted?

Bravo’s Vice President of Current Production, Josh Brown, has repeatedly denied that Below Deck is scripted. Below Deck Mediterranean executive producer Nadine Rajabi has insisted the show is not premeditated or planned out.

Below Deck Sailing Yacht producer Jill Goslicky has also addressed the show’s reality. Jill declared production doesn’t interfere at all.

While the network and producers want Below Deck fans to believe the show is not scripted, there’s no question that it is manipulated.

Below Deck Season 8 charter guest Charley Walters revealed producers encouraged his over-the-top behavior. Max Gilliam also shared that his group ate sushi off a model because it was productions idea.

Adrienne Gang from Below Deck Season 1 revealed on her podcast Gangplank Report that the cast confessionals could be filmed mid-season if producers want to change the narrative.

The conversation came about when Adrienne and her co-host, Jen Bennington, were discussing Heather’s apology to Rayna. Heather’s hair was noticeably shorter in one of her confessionals during that episode, indicating it was filmed differently from the rest.

So, is Below Deck scripted? It all depends on how one looks at it.

The situations may not be scripted because of the dynamic of the show. However, producers are telling stories, so things may be fabricated or directed for a certain narrative.

Most reality TV is far from reality, and Below Deck is no exception.

Below Deck airs Mondays at 8/7c on Bravo.

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