A local photographer has posted emails from Warner Brothers NZ requesting they work “unpaid” on Married At First Sight NZ.
Update 17 July: Warner Brothers have responded with a comment attached to the bottom of this story.
A wedding photographer has posted emails from Warner Brothers NZ on Reddit after the production company requested that they work for free on Married at First Sight NZ season three. User u/ihatechickenbutyum posted the email exchange, first sent from a member of Warner Brothers’ production team, on the /r/choosingbeggars subreddit yesterday, where it has received almost 4500 upvotes.
“I’m part of the production team at Warner Brothers NZ,” the email begins. “We’re currently in the wedding planning process for Married at First Sight Season 3, would you be interested in being our photographer on one of the wedding days?” With the weddings scheduled to be filmed at the end of July, the email requests one day of work suiting the recipients’ availability.
“It is unpaid,” the email continues. “However we can offer you a logo or text credit at the end of your featured episode (pretty great advertising!) You’ll also have to be comfortable being on camera.”
The wedding photography on Married at First Sight NZ is an often revealing sequence on the reality series, forcing the just-married couples into close proximity for the very first time. In season one, newlyweds Brett and Angel giggled in each other’s arms before Brett swept up Angel into his arms like a baby. Elsewhere, Luke dropped Lacy into mud by accident. One of these couples did not stay together.
The photographer, who remains anonymous, described their enthusiasm for the “awesome job” in a reply email. “I’m sure my wife and kids would love to eat the text credit and logo for dinner,” they wrote. “I’m sure the bank also wouldn’t mind if I paid them with the text credit and logo too. It is also my wife’s birthday on the 29th of July and I would love to spend that exposure bucks to buy her something nice.”
This is not the first time that the conditions on Warner Brothers NZ productions have caused controversy. In 2018, Married at First Sight NZ star Haydn Daniels alleged that cameras were hidden in the couch cushions of his and then-wife Bel’s apartment. “I got a call from Bel who said ‘I’ve found a camera in our couch’,” he told The Real Pod. He recalled seeing the producers on tape, mocking his then-wife. “You could see them sort of imitating her be upset… It was quite shocking.”
In 2017, contestants from The Bachelor NZ, another Warner Brothers production, spoke out about having no running water and not enough food. “Our caterer didn’t seem to know how to feed 20 girls, so she told us we should just eat less,” wrote season two bachelorette Ceri McVinnie, “we would often go hungry, so a few of us got in touch with our families back home to send food.” Ally Thompson, who appeared on season three of The Bachelor NZ, alleged that a production member told her to stop eating dessert.
Updated with comment from Warner Brothers NZ 17/7/2019: Mediaworks contract Warner Bros to make Married at First Sight. In order to produce the best possible wedding, goods and services are often provided free of charge by suppliers in the wedding industry in exchange for free advertising for their business. This is common practice worldwide in the film and television industry across all genres.