‘Below Deck’ Shocker: Producer Reveals Why Season 1, Episode 3 Was Deleted After Backlash

Below Deck Season 1, episode 3 titled, “Dude, That’s a Dude, Dude” was scrubbed from streaming platforms when producers received backlash for the way a scene was handled.

The scene involved a transgender individual who returns to the boat with the charter guests. Executive producer Mark Cronin said he now regrets that the scene aired because the language and remarks the charter guests made about the individual were unacceptable.

Was ‘Below Deck’ Season 1, episode 3 on the wrong side of history?

“I don’t think we’re shy about showing what really happens,” Cronin told Metro. “And everybody who comes on the show has given us permission to show everything that occurs, and everything they say and everything they do. We aired that because it was their real opinion towards the situation.”

But Cronin said the charter guests in episode 3 made remarks that were just not OK. “We were definitely not on the right side of history, or at least those people on the show weren’t on the right side of history about it,” he said. “Maybe we should have, in hindsight, been more balanced. Or had somebody call them out, which maybe we had. It could have probably been handled better.”

He added, “I think that’s probably the biggest controversy that the show has had, is that episode ended up feeling not as sensitive as maybe it should have been,’ he said. “I regret that. You’re asking me, I’m telling you, honestly.”

Below Deck Season 1 crew C.J. Lebeau, and Samantha Orme have drinks in a hot tub
Below Deck Season 1 crew C.J. Lebeau and Samantha Orme have drinks in a hot tub | Ali Goodwin/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank

‘Below Deck’ Season 1 had another huge controversy

Cronin said that episode wasn’t the only tough spot during season 1. He shared with Showbiz Cheat Sheet that the entire crew quit after stew Kat Held found drugs in a stateroom. Cronin said the cast was already suspicious of producers and thought the drugs were a plant.

“So they were looking at us like, ‘Well, what is this? Are you setting us up?” he recounted. “Are these guests coming on here to make our lives difficult on purpose? And are you like to what extent are you messing with us?’”

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“I would always say we’re not messing with you,” he said. “We are not messing with you. These are charter guests. They’re paying. If their check cleared the bank, they’re coming on the show. I don’t do anything with them. I don’t prepare them or anything.”

“And they’d be like, ‘Yeah ok. But I bet this is a setup,’” he continued. “And then when Johnny Eyelash came on, it was OK, everything was going OK until they found the drugs. And then the cast was like, ‘Oh, it is a setup, and these guys don’t know how serious what they’ve just done to us is. Meaning us. Meaning the TV show.”

Did the crew think producers planted drugs on the boat?

Cronin recalled that the show was headed for disaster after Johnny Eyelash and his group were booted from the boat. “The whole cast quit,” he said. “They all basically said, ‘That’s it, we are not doing the show. If you guys are putting our licenses at risk by putting drugs on this boat, we quit.’”

“I had to get with Captain Lee and say, ‘Well, before I can address the issue with the whole cast quitting, we got to get rid of these guys,’” he recalled. “So Lee’s like, ‘That’s right, we’re getting rid of these guys. The charter’s over. We’re going back to the dock.’ So we go back to the dock.”

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“Lee kicks them off the boat, and then I stop all the cameras, and we all had to come into the main saloon of the boat,” Cronin said. “And I had to sit everybody down and said ‘We did not put drugs on this boat.’ Those guys, unbeknownst to us, brought something on this boat that’s not cool. I get it. And it’s a disaster. And I didn’t want to end this charter early. I didn’t want this to happen. I didn’t know. It’s no good to me if we could shut down in the first episode either.”

How did Mark Cronin get the crew to stay for the season?

Cronin had no choice but to appeal to the crews‘ sense of logic. “And so again, I said, ‘You are going to have to trust us that this is the story of what happens here.’ And I said, ‘Has it ever happened where the charter has drugs on your boat?’” he sad. “And they’re ‘Oh, I’ve had that happen. Oh, yeah, we have that.’ Well, there you go. Like what are you looking at me like this is some kind of weird thing?”