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Marriage Boot Camp's Sugar Bear deserves criticism but not homophobia

Chanel Dubofsky is a fiction writer, journalist and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work on gender, sexuality, religion and reproductive justice has been publishing in Cosmopolitan, RH Reality Check, The Billfold, The Toast, The ...

Sugar Bear's big cheating confession draws problematic reactions from fans

On Friday's Marriage Boot Camp, Sugar Bear reluctantly discussed his infidelity, revealing a big truth to Mama June that had Twitter reacting... badly. 

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Sugar Bear's big cheating confession draws problematic reactions from fans
Image: WE tv

Is tantrum-y a word? Well, it is now. It's the best way to describe Sugar Bear's behavior on Friday's new episode of Marriage Boot Camp. At the end of last week's episode, Mama June told Sean and Catherine that more would come out about his infidelity, such as that fact that he got with some dudes.

When we returned to our heroes this week, Sugar Bear basically threw a fit while admitting he'd cheated, claiming that the woman in question came on to him, because taking zero responsibility for your actions is an excellent strategy for healing your relationship. He continued to act-out during the episode, telling Mama June he wants to give up on their relationship and displaying a scary level of anger, which was definitely exacerbated by the fact that the couples had to assemble an IKEA bed (the most realistic exercise ever to happen on this show.) 

So Sugar Bear is a giant jerk-face, and according to Jim and Elizabeth, probably a sex addict (which, to be clear, has nothing to do with his jerk-face-ness). At the end of the episode, he also admitted to Mama June that he had had a sexual encounter with another guy. One place this did not go over well: Twitter. And by "did not go over well," I mean, "was really homophobic."

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You get the idea. It's so far beyond the point to state that engaging in sexual activity with people of the same gender as you doesn't make you gay, and Sugar Bear did characterize his behavior as "experimenting." But can we not lose track of the ball here? You can be upset about the fact that he cheated on Mama June without resorting to homophobic remarks (and you can also decide not to post those homophobic remarks on Twitter). Sugar Bear might be bisexual and that still wouldn't be the point. There is so much going on for these two in addition to who the cheating happened with, but for some reason, the fact that a same-gender encounter happens is suddenly the most appalling thing.

Homophobia has a very warm and snuggly relationship to misogyny, which is made super clear by these Twitter reactions. It's bad enough that your male partner cheated on you, but the fact that he cheated on you with another dude is supposed to say something about your desirability as a woman — specifically, that you aren't desirable, especially in the case of Mama June, who constantly gets fat shamed and publicly degraded. Get it together, Twitter.

More: Honey Boo Boo's Mama June gets real personal about her sex life (VIDEO)

What do you think of Sugar Bear's admission? Are you surprised by Twitter's reaction to it? Can Mama June and Sugar salvage their relationship? Should they?

Sugar Bear's big cheating confession draws problematic reactions from fans
Image: WE tv

Sugar Bear's big cheating confession draws problematic reactions from fans
Image: Paul Redmond FilmMagic
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