Eddie Lucas Wanted Chief Stew Heather Chase Fired From Below Deck; Slams Producers For Mishandling Racism

Heather Chase was slated to be the new darling on Below Deck.  Tough, direct, and very much like our original Chief Stew Kate Chastain, Heather maybe could have pulled the image off except for the racial slur that escaped her mouth on a recent crew night out.

Deck Crew member Rayna Lindsey was within earshot of the highly offensive term, and she brought her grievances to First Officer Eddie Lucas.  Their edited conversation was shown on camera, however both parties feel that not enough was done by producers to address the situation.  Especially since Eddie claimed that Heather used the N-word multiple times.

“I couldn’t believe [Chase] said it,” Eddie expressed during a YourEncore session, “Heather shouldn’t have said that word.”  The deck boss even suggested that Captain Lee Rosbach fire Heather.

According to Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Eddie claimed that he pushed the issue with producers but they wanted to quiet the situation. “In no way, would I brush racism under the rug,” he said.

“The conversation was probably about a half-hour long in real life,” Eddie said of his dialogue with Rayna, “and if you recall in the conversation that they did show, I did say that’s not OK.  You know, if I heard that I would have said something.  You need to say something and make sure that this is dealt with properly.”

Eddie felt responsible to go to higher-ups with Rayna’s grievances because she did not feel comfortable doing so.  He explained, “and I mean, Rayna wasn’t comfortable going to the captain right away about it.  She didn’t want to.  She just wanted to say, ‘Hey, this bothered me.  This is why I was upset and I was fine.’  And I said, ‘OK, fine, but, you know, don’t let these problems that are happening at the time bother you.  You know, if you don’t want to make it a big deal then don’t let if affect you.’  So that’s why I sound like I was brushing it under the rug.  I was like, ‘Don’t take everything personally,’ you know?”

“But I said to her, like call her out,” Eddie continued, “Call her out.  Because what Heather said was not OK. Not OK at all.  And Rayna wanted to deal with that herself.  And I said, ‘OK, deal with it yourself.  Do it on your own time.  But don’t let this affect you and I.  Or you and Captain Lee.


RELATED: Heather Chase Apologizes For Using Racial Slurs On Below Deck


Eddie maintains that his priority was supporting Rayna, and decisions in editing portrayed his intentions differently.  “And so that was the advice I was giving her,” he explained, “It was actually a really good conversation that we were having.  And it’s just gotten spun into something different.  But in no way would I ever brush racism under the rug.  I am not OK with it in any way, shape, or form.”

The situation did not improve as the season progressed.  Rayna felt unheard and unsupported by her boss.  And while Heather did apologize to her, Rayna felt the chief stew’s “ignorance” nullified her attempts at making amends.
The Baltimore, MD resident also attempted to amend the situation by organizing a meeting between Heather, Rayna, and Captain Lee. “As time goes by, I do have conversations with Captain Lee about it,” Eddie said, “I did recommend to Captain Lee to fire Heather.  And if that makes it on the show-I don’t know.”
Rayna’s initial reaction, “was very, very nonchalant,” and her response influenced how Eddie handled the situation.  But he admitted, “I didn’t understand the severity of how it was affecting her in that moment.  And do I wish I could have understood that better?  Yes.  Do I wish Rayna explained, like, ‘No, this is really affecting me.  This is not OK. Like, I’m really upset about this.’ And if that was the case, then there would have been much stronger actions taken in that moment.”
Eddie blames production for its mishandling of the incident.  He explained, “You know, the whole thing, that whole deal was just really poorly handled on so many levels, especially the top of it, which is production.  You know, production was terrified by this whole situation coming out.  And I was told on numerous times don’t talk about it, stop bringing it up. This is going to kill us.  And that’s not OK.”

Had producers not intervened, Eddie claimed he would have gone to Captain Lee immediately.  He said, “I mean, I was told on numerous occasions to not talk about it and not bring it up anymore.  I mean, when I had the conversation with Rayna about it, I wanted to go talk to Captain Lee.  As soon as that conversation ended, there was an EP right out there saying, ‘Ok, that was it.  No more, we’re done talking about this.”


[Photo Credit: Bravo]