Media watchdog The Australian Communications and Media Authority has received a number of complaints around this season of The Block.
ACMA received 28 complaints within a week.
An ACMA spokesperson told The Australian. “The majority of the inquiries related to allegations of bullying, harassment and promotion of anti-social behaviour between contestants.”
It follows many articles and commentary around the drama between contestants this season, something producers were keen to amp up given that the homes were smaller then the 2022 season. Aside from the odd night behind Seven’s MKR, that has translated into ratings for Nine.
Michael Healy, Nine’s Director of Television, recently said: “These numbers speak for themselves. The Block is an unrivalled powerhouse on Australian television. The fact that more than 40% of the country has tuned into this series is a phenomenal achievement. We never take the loyalty of our viewers for granted and look forward to delivering a cracking crescendo to the current season, before an unprecedented 20th series in 2024.”
When similar complaints were levelled against Married at First Sight the network said it would have intervened if that show had genuinely been at risk of domestic violence occuring.
“Our first priority in making MAFS is to make sure all the participants feel they are operating in a safe environment. At a briefing of participants prior to commencement of filming, the importance of alerting production if they felt unsafe or uncomfortable with their partners at any time was reinforced. We understand meeting and marrying someone at first sight and living with them for eight weeks can be a potentially daunting experience and we would not persist with a scenario where someone does not feel safe,” MAFS producers said at the time.
ACMA cleared Nine of those MAFS complaints.
Block Judge Darren Palmer has replied to one of his followers on Instagram: “It’s fortunate we don’t hear about or see anything that happens during the week. Keeps judging fair and subjective. I do not condone bullying.”
Cast on The Block are understood to have access to experts in welfare and mental health.
Nine will have 60 days to respond to complaints.
7:30pm Monday – Wednesday on Nine.