‘Married at First Sight’ Expert Dr. Pepper Schwartz Explains Why the Show May Never Match People in This City

Married at First Sight has ventured to the West Coast for the first time in its 15-season run. The show’s experts have matched 10 San Diego singles, who recently embarked on the eight-week experiment of being married to a total stranger. 

So far, MAFS fans are loving the sun-and-surf vibes of the new season. But will the show ever film in other major West Coast cities? We don’t know for sure. But one person involved in the Lifetime reality series says one particular city is unlikely to be a future filming location. 

‘Married at First Sight’ has filmed all over the U.S.

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Dr. Pepper Schwartz has been helping to match hopeful singles since Married at First Sight premiered in 2014. In addition to San Diego, the show has been filmed in cities such as New Orleans, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Charlotte, and Houston. Multiple seasons have been filmed in Boston, New York, and Atlanta. Season 16 will take place in Nashville

There are still plenty of cities that the MAFS team hasn’t yet visited, including Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, and San Antonio. But according to Schwartz, one well-known metropolis is unlikely to make the cut. 

Dr. Pepper Schwartz weighs in on possible ‘Married at First Sight’ Seatttle season

Dr. Pepper Schwartz from 'Married at First Sight' wearing a lime green jacket
Dr. Pepper Schwartz on ‘Married at First Sight’ | Lifetime via YouTube

In a recent Instagram post, Schwartz answered fan questions about whether Married at First Sight would ever film in the Pacific Northwest. 

Schwartz, who works as a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle, said she had “tried very hard” to convince the show’s producers to film in the region. While everyone was open to the idea of a season set in a city such as Seattle, “there’s one problem that makes it unlikely,” she said. 

“We really value diversity, and we want to have all kinds of couples have the chance to get married at first sight,” she said. “Seattle is not a very diverse community.” 

While there is a large population of Asian people from various backgrounds, the city’s Black population is relatively small, Schwartz added. That makes it more difficult to match people and put together a diverse cast. 

Schwartz’s comments suggest Seattle is a no-go for MAFS producers. However, Seattle’s racial demographics are not that different from that of San Diego, according to U.S. Census data, although the latter city does have a much larger Hispanic or Latino population. That may give those dreaming of a Seattle-set season of MAFS some hope. 

‘MAFS’ producer says inclusive casting is important 

Married at First Sight has featured Black couples on the show since its first season, and the first Asian couple was featured in season 13. The show has also matched mixed-race couples. In a 2021 interview with Decider, executive producer and showrunner Montré Burton said MAFS was proud of its record of inclusive casting.  

“Especially given what’s going on in the world right now, I think it’s important to be able to truly reflect what we see,” he said. “When people look at television, they want to be able to see themselves on screen.”

While Married at First Sight might embrace racial diversity, the show is noticeably lacking in diversity when it comes to non-heterosexual couples. While same-sex marriages have happened on the Australian version of the show, so far, the U.S. version has only featured opposite-sex pairings. That said, there’s a possibility that different types of relationships could be featured in future seasons.

“[T]here’s always internal conversations happening with that,” Burton said. “As a member of the LGBTQ community myself, that’s something that I definitely support — we all do. It’s just about making sure that when we find the right person and the right matches and the right process.”

New episodes of Married at First Sight Season 15 air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime. 

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