‘Below Deck’: Why Is Adrienne Gang Showing Support for Ashton Pienaar?

As social media piles on Ashton Pienaar from Below Deck, one alum has his back. Former chief stew Adrienne Gang showed her support for the bosun on Twitter, which had fans questioning why.

Ben Robinson, Adrienne Gang, David Bradberry
Ben Robinson, Adrienne Gang, David Bradberry | Heidi Gutman/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Pienaar is being dragged on social media after being shown becoming violent towards chief stew Kate Chastain. The entire crew was returning back to the boat after a night of drinking. When Chastain asked Pienaar about his mother, he became violent, almost needing to be restrained by chef Kevin Dobson and deckhand Tanner Sterback. Later, Chastain briefly quits after she quarrels with Pienaar in the crew mess.

Fans did not take the scene lightly. Some demanded Pienaar not only be fired but charged with assault. While some of the male crew members seem to have his back, nearly everyone, including Captain Lee Rosbach expressed anger toward Pienaar for his actions.

Gang tweeted her support

Amid the sea of angry comments, Gang stuck out her neck in support of Pienaar. She shared her thoughts on Twitter but admitted she hadn’t watched the new season. But despite not seeing the current footage, she stands by Pienaar.

Fans quickly challenged Gang about her assertion. “If you haven’t watched it, how can you think he, or at least his deplorable behavior, is so great?” one person asked. But Gang insisted she personally knows Pienaar. “Because I know him. Do you? Or just what you see on tv?” she replied.

Another fan recalled that Pienaar tried to kiss Chastain more than once. “The sexual assault filmed twice was great. Wonder how many times in his real life hes forced his tongue into a womans mouth or worse. I forgot he’s a male stripper lol,” the person wrote. But Gang reminded the fan there are always two sides to the story.

Some fans wonder if this is why she came out to support him

There’s certainly no love lost between Gang and Chastain. In fact, Chastain recently shaded Gang on the Taste of Taylor podcast. She told host Taylor Strecker how she ended up taking over as chief stew on the show. “I was working as a chief stew on a boat, same size,” she recalled. “The chief stew from season 1[Gang], she was really bad. She was bad at her job, she had wet hair on camera.”

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“It was embarrassing to my friends and family members,” Chastain continued. “I don’t want them to see this girl doing the job this way and think that’s what I do. Because she’s not displaying it great.” So Chastain decided to go for the Below Deck chief stew job and got it.

A fan suggested that Gang was on “Team Ashton” to spite Chastain. “I feel like you don’t like kate so you would support anyone who’s opposing her,” the person tweeted. But Gang said Chastain has nothing to do with why she supports Pienaar. “My distaste for her is no secret. My statement didn’t even mention her. I’m just a personal fan of Ashton. I feel like everyone makes mistakes when they drink. EVERYONE. So I stand by my support of Ashton.”