Booze, babes and bikinis, oh my! Last night’s episode of Below Deck: Mediterranean was crazy, to say the least. While the show mainly focused on Danny Zureikat’s immature behavior, I was more interested in Bryan Kattenburg’s leadership skills, or lack thereof.
More: Below Deck Mediterranean crew crosses the line of professionalism
Last week, we got a little insight into the differing leadership styles of Kattenburg and head stew Hannah Ferrier, but this week, I saw multiple leadership styles in just Kattenburg. He does not treat all of his deckhands the same, and he is most notably dismissive of Jen Riservato.
From having her fetch drinks to reminding her to “look after those jet skis,” Kattenburg always seems to be harping on Riservato. This wouldn’t be a big deal if he happened to be similarly critical of the other crew members, because there is certainly a lot of room for criticism among the guys. But when Bobby Giancola and Danny Zureikat screw up (and their failures as crew members are far more serious than Jen’s), Kattenburg brushes it off and acts like it’s not a big deal.
To be fair, Riservato doesn’t always have the best attitude. Early on in the show, she showed up late for her morning shift and expected Zureikat to cover for her. She also spends a lot of time whining, even claiming that she doesn’t like the gorgeous architecture of Greece. But as annoying as she can be, she does work hard and thus deserves some credit.
A lot of people seem to think that Kattenburg’s behavior proves that he is sexist. Several spoke out on Twitter last night.
— Lauren (@bitsymomma) May 18, 2016
— Lucy B. Fishbein (@thesongfish) May 18, 2016
I’m no fan of Kattenburg, but I’m not quite ready to cry sexism. I’m well aware of the way Bravo edits things to look a certain way, and I think that, right now, there is a huge effort to turn Kattenburg into the bad guy. That being said, I am definitely concerned about his behavior.
Julia d’Albert-Pusey has theorized that Kattenburg simply loves power, and that if he doesn’t feel like he is the head honcho, he gets pissed off. Perhaps, his poor treatment of Riservato reflects this. He may simply enjoy having somebody he perceives as beneath him to boss around. Then again, his desire to boss around the deck crew’s one gal may indicate that, as the critics claim, he’s a huge sexist. It’s hard for me to say just yet, but I’m sure we’ll see plenty more of his poor leadership in future episodes.