'Married at First Sight' star Chris Williams bashes Dr. Pepper after she apologizes for his casting: "Maybe it's time to retire"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/24/2021
Married at First Sight star Chris Williams has slammed Dr. Pepper Schwartz after the show expert recently posted and deleted a strong statement about how Chris' behavior in his marriage to Paige Banks has been "appalling" and casting him on Season 12 was "a bad call."
Pepper, who serves as one of three Married at First Sight experts and matchmakers with Pastor Calvin Roberson and Dr. Viviana Coles, took to Instagram on Thursday with a lengthy statement about the experts' unpopular decision to put Chris on the show.
Pepper wrote how she empathizes with viewers who are "horrified" and "appalled" by Chris' "offensive" and "disappointing" actions, and she suggested Chris has "fooled A LOT of people" in the casting process.
Shortly after Pepper deleted her post -- which was captured in a series of screenshots reposted by @mafsfan Instagram account -- Chris took to Facebook and unloaded on the expert.
"I told my people no more posts, but this is the last one. Yes I saw Dr. Pepper's post and delete comment! These are the things I took away from her post and delete (As I attempt to not mince my words too)! With all due respect!" Chris began.
"1. She referred to me as 'that man'! My name is not 'that man'! 2. I find it crazy that you are making it seem as if I f'd up your impeccable track record! When in reality, you have been an expert since Day 1 and your track record is 30% of the people you personally put together that are still together (From Day 1)."
Chris continued, "3. The national average divorce rate is 50%. Yours is 70%! 4. If 12 people stay together out of 39, then that means that there are 27 'bad calls'. Not 1!"
"5. Maybe [it's] time to retire because a change is needed and everyone sees that but you!!!" Chris concluded. "CallForMeAndIWillAnswer #TheseAreAllFacts #LeaveMeAlone."
In Pepper's Thursday Instagram post, she wrote in the caption, "As many of you know, this season of #MAFS included a match that has turned out to be both disappointing and, often, offensive to myself and the viewers. I wanted to make sure you all could have some of the context that I do for why this man was allowed to participate in our program."
"But please, if you are upset about this match, take a minute to read my words and see how seriously we vet these people before matching them and how much I empathize with all of those at home who are horrified by Chris's actions."
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Pepper went on to thank fans for their concern and insisted the show does "a lot of in-depth research on people" every season during the vetting process -- including filling out long questionnaires and conducting several interviews with the experts and producers.
"There is also an outside, independent psychological firm that gives tests to applicants at two different times. There is also a forensic researcher, looking for any legal infractions in the last ten years. And we also look a decade back for social media posts that might disqualify someone," Pepper shared.
"All this is to say that if someone gets past all this and turns out to be a bad fit for this process, they have fooled A LOT of people. One reason we think this can happen is that all of this is in-depth but not necessarily happening when a person is UNDER stress. People do change -- a lot -- when threatened or disappointed."
"I also understand why people might want us not to continue filming this couple. This reason we keep on is that we have seen similar 'train wrecks' turn around," Pepper wrote before citing Season 6 Married at First Sight couple Shawniece Jackson and Jephte Pierre as an example.
"It's miserable to watch in the beginning but [Jephte] turns around -- breaks down, changes the way he approaches his wife and his life, and the changes are both life changing and inspirational. They are happily married now with a beautiful child. Granted this is exceptional -- but it does happen, and so we watch things play out," Pepper explained.
"Even if the couple doesn't get together -- at least one person can grow and gain strength and know more about who she or he is and what they want in a partner. More time in the experiment also gives us experts more time to counsel, to try and help them work through tough experiences."
Pepper continued in her since-deleted post, "Do I, or any of the experts, mince words with Chris? I don't think so. I am appalled at some of the things he has said and done. I don't know how many of our statements to him make the final cut (for me or anyone else) -- but no one is giving Chris a 'pass.' I can understand however, if you don't think it's enough."
But Pepper said the experts' role is simply to give honest feedback and counsel the couples the best they can.
"But not everyone can listen and use our insights and critiques to be a better person. It's also true that we can tell Paige what we think is in her best interests (i.e. cut all interaction) but that doesn't mean that she agrees with us and wants to end the relationship," Pepper wrote, suggesting the experts had recommended that Paige end her marriage to Chris.
"She is an adult, a person determined to see this experiment through, and she considers what we say, but she does what she wants to do. But does a lot of it break my heart, as much of it has broken yours? Do I understand your disgust? Of course I do."
"We must take responsibility for this match -- but I assure you the Chris we all see now, is not the Chris we met and married to Paige," Pepper wrote.
"I wish we knew how to get to the core of someone's intent and their ability to love all the time, but we cannot."
Pepper, however, said the experts take great pride in the couples they have successfully matched over the years who are still married today.
"I wish it was a perfect record, that's what we try for, but that doesn't seem to be possible. We tell everyone that truth -- that this is a high-risk endeavor, even with three trained professionals matching the couples and giving them support all along the way," Pepper explained.
"But we are not relationship wizards; there will be some failures. However, we think the many life enhancing successes we have created justify the continuation of Married at First Sight. Sincerely, Pepper."
Married at First Sight viewers have been lashing out at Chris and scolding the show's experts for casting him ever since Season 12, which was filmed late last summer in Atlanta, premiered in January on Lifetime.
The Married at First Sight season has shown Chris repeatedly boasting about himself and his accomplishments, making offensive and sexist remarks about wife Paige Banks, discussing his high expectations of a woman's physical looks, constantly talking about sex, and marrying a stranger only three months after ending his engagement to a woman he still continued hooking up with after their split.
Chris also received backlash for having sex with Paige twice after their wedding despite telling production and her bridesmaids that he wasn't physically attracted to her.
Chris then appeared to discover his ex-fiancee, Mercedes, was about six weeks pregnant with his child at the beginning of his Las Vegas honeymoon with Paige.
In addition, Chris was shown screaming at co-stars Erik Lake and Virginia Coombs in the latestMarried at First Sight episode after he believed the couple had invaded his privacy and inappropriately butted into his personal affairs.
Paige, however, decided to continue her relationship with Chris despite an extremely rocky first week of marriage, including a shocking revelation from Chris that he still loved his ex-fiancee and briefly considered getting back together with her.