What’s red (faced), white (lying), blue (shirted), and smarmy as hell? It’s everyone’s favorite Little Women: LA serial cheater, Matt Ericson (aka Grundhoffer)!!! After witnessing the junkyard drama that was Matt and Briana Renee‘s Lifetime spinoff: LWLA Matt & Briana, Ride or Die over the past two weeks, viewers have had enough. One viewer in particular has even started a petition online demanding that Matt and Briana be ejected from the series that gave them their breakout roles!
It’s no secret how murdery I feel about Matt (though I wonder if any jury in the world would convict me?), and Briana‘s LWLA costars – namely the screeching, drink throwing Terra Jole – have also been more than vocal about their own naked hatred of Briana’s hubby. But some viewers initially gave Briana and Matt the benefit of the doubt, at least in part, when it came to their rocky relationship. Right up until their special aired. Then all hell broke loose! The 2-part series pulled back the curtain on just how manipulative – and even threatening – Matt appears to be, which caused many fans to wonder: what exactly this man is capable of?
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The Change.org Petition calls for a total ban of Matt and Briana on future LWLA seasons, citing that “several disturbing facts surrounding Briana’s now-husband Matt Grundhoffer and his past have come to light which call into question the safety of Briana herself, her young daughter, and her fellow cast members. This new information leads us to believe that it is no longer appropriate for Matt and Briana to remain on the show.”
So far, over 600 people have signed it, with the hopes that the petition’s goal of 1,000 signatures will be met.
The petition cites Matt‘s past domestic violence charges, his sexually deviant texts (and graphic photos) sent to random women, as well his “verbally abusive behavior towards his female cast-mates on camera, which has included both hate speech aimed at the little person community, and misogynistic words and comments used to intimidate and demean women” as grounds for his firing.
Noting that Lifetime is a “network that claims to support women,” the petition asserts that Matt and Briana being “rewarded” with a spinoff showcasing their abusive relationship is wrong.
“We, the public, are being sent a clear message that a woman should overlook a man’s violent criminal record; that we should allow a man to alienate us from our family and friends; that we should give him chance after chance when we are cheated on; that we are to blame for being cheated on in the first place; that our co-workers can use sexist and prejudicial language to refer to us without consequence,” argues the petitioner.
Briana’s 6-year old daughter Leiana and unborn son play pivotal roles in fans’ outrage, as some viewers fear for their safety (as well as Briana’s). Additionally, Radar Online recently posted an article musing whether Matt was to blame for Briana’s recent hospitalization for pre-term contractions.
But it’s not just viewers (who Briana lashed out at as not understanding her “whole story”) who are troubled by witnessing Matt’s deplorable behavior on TV. Briana’s own father has also spoken out on the matter. He claims that his son-in-law is a master manipulator, has total control of Briana’s communication with the outside world, and has cut her off from her family – even while in the hospital.
Viewers don’t place all of the blame squarely on Matt’s shoulders, however, noting how Briana plays into the toxic relationship by allowing Matt to treat her poorly over and over again. Also troubling is how Briana has inserted Matt directly into her young daughter’s life. She even allowed Matt to escort Leiana to a “Daddy Daughter Dance” on part 2 of the special, much to the ire of Leiana’s biological father, Leif Manson.
Whether this grassroots petition will gain enough momentum to effect change is unknown. But it is interesting how intensely viewers have reacted to the morbid train wreck playing out before us. The question seems to be: Is this entertainment? Or is this exploitation?
TELL US: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PETITION? WILL YOU BE SIGNING IT?
Photo Credit: Lifetime