Ah, the perils of becoming a reality TV star. It’s easy in the beginning to think of the thrills, the ego boost, the money, and the increased social media presence. But what happens when fans turn on you. Just ask Below Deck Sailing Yacht Chief Stew Jenna MacGillivray.
Anyone following the season may not be surprised that Jenna has become the pariah of the crew. She was brusque with her team, and engaged in extremely unprofessional PDA with Chef Adam Glick. There was never a missed opportunity to tell subordinates that they had no right to an opinion, even on crew nights off the boat. With all the fan backlash, it’s worth questioning whether Jenna has done any retrospection since filming wrapped.
It turns out Jenna is both seeing the error of her ways, but also defending herself against questionable editing. That seems to be a theme with Bravo shows recently. Just ask the Southern Charm cast. Regardless of what viewers may think of Jenna, bullying is never justified, and Jenna says that she has been receiving a lot of hate.
Jenna spoke with In Touch Weekly and explained the situation. “The stuff that people write is extremely vile,” she said, “it’s hard for me because it’s [about] the way I’m depicted on the show-it’s not who I am as a person. So it’s very hard to defend myself.”
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What’s even more frustrating for Jenna is that she has, “no power” to correct her image and the, “certain persona has been presented”
Does Jenna regret some of her actions on the show? “Definitely,” the Chief Stew said. She does acknowledge that she lacked empathy at times.
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“I’m very direct, and I do pride myself on my communication, but I think, at times, when I feel frustrated with somebody, I get on the defense,” Jenna explained, “I don’t think I ever spoke in a derogatory way- [but] if I were to go back, I would be a little bit softer in my tone.”
Jenna said she questioned coworkers’ attitudes and performance, without hurling personal insults. So “bullying” claims are “absurd.”
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Maybe it all comes to personal preference on managing styles. “Some people really like that management style, but I also know that not all people do,” Jenna said, “I really need to [work to] accommodate other people’s way of communicating that may not be the same as my own.”
Jenna did have some positive feedback as well. She had a touching moment with an ailing charter guest that resonated with fans. The primary was suffering with cancer, and Jenna had a moving conversation with the woman. It was after the episode aired that a fan reached out.
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“This guy contacted me and said that his mother has Stage 4 cancer and that episode really spoke to him,” Jenna explained, “he said his mom had been given a new energy from watching me.”
Jenna connected with the fan, in an attempt to talk with his mother. She credits interactions like that for keeping her perspective positive.
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Jenna said, “what makes me genuinely feel good is making other people feel good. I guess it’s difficult for me to feel like I didn’t do that at times.”
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TELL US- DO YOU THINK JENNA BULLIED HER CREW? HOW COULD SHE HAVE IMPROVED HER MANAGEMENT STYLE? DO YOU THINK EDITING WAS FAIR FOR JENNA?
[Photo Credit: Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo]