The yachting world is not always a female-friendly place. Lacking a Y chromosome is especially a liability when you’re a crew member on Below Deck Med, where a particularly annoying frat boy style of sexism has grown rampant. Not all of the crew members are guilty of it, but some of the deckhands’ behavior is atrocious, to say the least.
Bryan Kattenburg is arguably the biggest offender. He’s already sparked concern with his excessive criticism of Jen Riservato, all while letting Bobby Giancola and, until recently, Danny Zureikat get away with just about anything.
At first, I was willing to give Kattenburg a pass because I know just how big of a role editing can play. But now that I’ve seen a few more episodes of Below Deck Med, I recognize that his dismissive treatment of Riservato is just the beginning. Turns out, Kattenburg can be a real slimeball.
Aided by his good friend alcohol, Kattenburg got a little too close for comfort during tonight’s episode. A few of his weird comments may have been inside jokes (for example, Copeland has indicated on Twitter that an earlier comment about cheese was not nearly as problematic as viewers suspect), but others were decidedly sleazy and in terrible taste.
The cringe-worthy comments began with Kattenburg promising to “lightsaber” Copeland. It just went downhill from there, for while Kattenburg intended to prove that he was more than just another frat boy, he proceeded to make one stereotypical frat boy comment after another. The weirdest, however, occurred when he instructed Copeland to sit on his thumb. That’s about as sleazy as it gets!
Kattenburg strikes me as one of those guys who is very, very friendly until he gets rejected… and then he gets really nasty because his ego has been bruised. After seeing his interactions with Riservato, I can’t say I’m surprised. But I am very, very disappointed. And I’m not alone, as evidenced by these upset tweets from other viewers:
Kattenburg has never been my favorite guy on Below Deck Med, but after tonight’s episode, I feel seriously sorry for the ladies on the Ionian Princess. Yes, people say dumb things when they’re drunk, but Kattenburg’s comments (and his behavior the next morning) were inexcusable, regardless of his level of inebriation.