Married At First Sight NZ will trivialise marriage, church says

Stuff 25 April 2017
Family First Comment: Marriage should not be about ratings, voyeurism, or social experimentation. It’s a significant natural act based on commitment, love and intimacy.

Three’s latest reality television import cheapens marriages and is “a ratings-driven trivialisation”, say church and family lobby groups.

Married At First Sight pairs couples “at the altar” as they embark on an experiment to see if they can fall in love. The Australian version of the show rated well. Despite canning an earlier Married At First Sight series, MediaWorks decided to recommission the show.

The Australian show came under fire for its pitiful rate of return of couples actually staying together after the show concludes, despite a panel of psychologists “scientifically” matching the pairs.

A spokeswoman for the Catholic bishop of Auckland said Christian marriage was “a sacred covenant”. The show trivialised marriage for ratings and did not give the couples their best chance at success, she said.

“Regardless of religious background, it is essential [that couples] are equipped with the skills and strategies to communicate effectively and to manage conflict.

Family First’s Bob McCoskrie said the show was cheapening marriage “all in the name of ratings and voyeurism”.

“Marriage is not a ‘social experiment’. It’s not a ‘reality show’. Getting married should never be based on ratings,” he said via a statement.

“The act of Marriage is not the ‘test period’ with the immediate option of divorce, as is offered on Married At First Sight,” McCoskrie said.

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