Below Deck Down Under: Jason Chambers addresses sexual misconduct row

Posted: 11th August 2023

Source: BBC News

Captain Jason Chambers from Australian reality series Below Deck Down Under has addressed sexual misconduct on the show’s set.

He thanked the production crew for “breaking the fourth wall and stepping in” during two incidents during filming for the new series.

Two cast members were seen making unwanted sexual advances in recent episodes of the yacht-based production.

Both cast members, Luke Jones and Laura Bileskalne, were fired on the show.

The popular series is in the spotlight after two incidents were featured in the sixth and seventh episodes, which both aired on Australian TV station Bravo on 7 August.

Capt Chambers said the “not acceptable” incidents took place a year ago, when he was not personally present, after cast members had been drinking together.

In an Instagram video, he said “I don’t know what goes on” when the show’s crew socialise together, but added: “If it’s inadequate behaviour, you’ve seen that production would inform me.”

Luke Jones, who has featured in 11 episodes of the series, was shown entering the cabin of fellow cast member Margot Sisson without consent.

At the time, she was asleep after drinking alcohol and Mr Jones was undressed.

Mr Jones was shown climbing into her bed, which prompted the production crew to intervene to make Mr Jones leave the room, saying that Ms Misson had “said no”.

Mr Jones then attempted to close the cabin door and proceeded to hold it shut, before eventually leaving.

Writing on Instagram after the episode aired, Ms Misson thanked producers for stepping in during the incident and said it was “vital” for the incident to feature in the episode because “this issue is all too real and far too frequent”.

Mr Jones has not commented on the incident publicly.

During the same episode Ms Bileskalne was shown entering the room of another cast member, Adam Kodra, and attempting to massage and kiss him without consent.

The episode showed Cpt Chambers dismissing both from the yacht where the series is filmed and both have left the production altogether.

In an Instagram post after the show aired, Ms Bileskalne apologised, saying: “I made [Mr Kodra] feel uncomfortable and no one should be put in that position”.

UK domestic abuse charity Refuge has praised the show’s producers for how the incidents were handled.

It said the episodes had “sparked vital conversations around consent”, adding: “We’re pleased to see that action was quickly taken to ensure a safe environment.”

Bravo has not commented on the incidents. BBC News has contacted the production company.

Below Deck Down Under first aired in March 2022. It is a spin-off the American series Below Deck.

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