Captain Jason Chambers addresses the importance of addressing sexual misconduct on the set of Below Deck Down Under

In a recent Instagram video, Captain Jason Chambers from the Australian reality series Below Deck Down Under took the opportunity to address the issue of sexual misconduct that occurred on the show’s set. He commended the production crew for their swift action in “breaking the fourth wall and stepping in” during two incidents that took place during the filming of the new series. The incidents involved two cast members, Luke Jones and Laura Bileskalne, who were subsequently fired from the show.

The popular series, which follows the lives of crew members on a yacht, found itself in the spotlight when the incidents were featured in the sixth and seventh episodes that aired on Australian TV station Bravo on August 7th. Captain Chambers emphasized that these “not acceptable” incidents took place approximately a year ago, in his absence, after the cast members had been socializing and consuming alcohol together.

Although he stated that he was not aware of the specific details of what occurs when the crew socializes off-camera, he expressed his trust in the production team to inform him if any inappropriate behavior takes place. This underscores the production’s responsibility to maintain a safe and respectful environment for the cast and crew both on and off the set.

The first incident involved Luke Jones entering the cabin of fellow cast member Margot Sisson without her consent while she was asleep after consuming alcohol. The episode showed camera operators intervening and escorting Mr. Jones out of the room when Ms. Sisson made it clear that his advances were unwanted. In response to this incident, Ms. Sisson expressed gratitude to the producers for their intervention and emphasized the importance of featuring it in the episode as a means to shed light on the prevalence of such issues.

The second incident featured Laura Bileskalne entering the room of another cast member, Adam Kodra, and attempting to touch and kiss him without his consent. Captain Chambers promptly dismissed both cast members from the yacht and they have since departed from the production altogether. Ms. Bileskalne apologized publicly on Instagram, acknowledging her inappropriate behavior and the discomfort it caused Mr. Kodra, emphasizing that nobody should be put in such a position.

UK domestic abuse charity Refuge commended the producers of Below Deck Down Under for their handling of the incidents. The charity praised the episodes for sparking important discussions surrounding consent and expressed satisfaction with the swift action taken to ensure a safe environment on the show.

While Bravo, the network airing the show, has not issued any official statements regarding the incidents, it is clear that the responsible handling of the situation by the production crew has been recognized and appreciated. The incidents highlight the ongoing need for open conversations about consent and the importance of creating and maintaining safe spaces within the entertainment industry.

Below Deck Down Under, a spin-off of the popular American series Below Deck, first premiered in March 2022. Despite the unfortunate events that recently occurred, the show’s response and commitment to addressing sexual misconduct positively contribute to raising awareness and promoting a respectful and safe working environment in the industry.