“Below Deck Mediterranean” returns for its sixth season on Monday, June 28. The cast will include some familiar faces along with many new crew members. Both Bosun Malia White and Captain Sandy Yawn – AKA Captain Sandy – will serve members aboard the 180-foot mega yacht “Lady Michelle.” But for many Bravo fans, the decision for the two to return was not an ideal one.
Season 5 of “Below Deck Mediterranean” – which aired fall 2020 – included firings and hirings, drug findings, and turbulent boat-mances. Halfway through the season, Yawn fired Chief Stewardess Hannah Ferrier. Ferrier was caught with unregistered Valium as well as a CBD vape pen after White – her then roommate – discovered the unregistered drugs in the cabin and sent a photo of the drugs to Yawn. Both Yawn and White justified the firing by referencing maritime law mandating crew members to register medications beforehand.
Fans immediately called for the firing of White, and many are still upset that the two got the invite back to the show. One fan even started a Change.org petition titled “Please Fire Malia White from Below Deck” that has garnered more than 11,000 signatures.
Many Fans Are Disappointed in Bravo
Even though the petition gained more than 11,000 signatures, Bravo still decided to hire White and Yawn for season 6. Needless to say, many fans are not thrilled.
One fan noted that in June 2020, Bravo decided to fire multiple “Vanderpump Rules” stars for past situations that came to light. “Bravo fires Stassi, Kristen, Max & Brent for their horrible treatment & inappropriate behavior of blacks but they fully support Sandy & Malia for their inappropriate behavior of Hannah,” one fan tweeted. “Guess discrimination towards people with mental health issues is ok with Bravo!”
Another simply put it, “I am getting mad at Capt Sandy and Malia all over again!” One wrote, “bravo please stop pushing #BelowDeckMed. no one wants to get behind sandy and malia after they bullied half the crew last season and called it ‘feminism.'”
One fan noted that the entire franchise has a chance of not succeeding, tweeting, “I’m really debating if I even want to watch Below Deck Med because of Sandy and Malia…” Another agreed, writing, “I hope I don’t get so desperate I watch. If I do, ima be legit disappointed in myself,” to which another replied, “Below deck med was always my favorite just because I love the Mediterranean so I’m already sad about not watching. but I hope that if enough of us actually don’t watch they might get rid of sandy and malia.”
The Petition Describes Why Fans Are ‘Furious’ With White
The “Please Fire Malia White from Below Deck” author wrote a lengthy description of why fans felt like Bravo should not re-hire White. “Malia’s insensitivity to a crew member’s mental illness has really sparked controversy among fans,” it writes. “Undermining Hannah’s anxiety attack in the cabin and reporting it back to captain Sandy as a ‘freak out’ is extremely insulting to BD viewers who suffer from a mental illness.”
It adds, “There should be consequences for Malia’s actions of revealing future episodes as well humiliating her coworker…She is constantly referring Hannah’s medication as ‘being on drugs’ or ‘popping pills’…Though we understand Maritime laws, it was clear Malia’s actions were done out of spite…Malia White continuously throws coworkers under the bus for her own personal gain and that isn’t what this show should be about. Malia does not make a decent leader and shouldn’t be represented as so on a television show.”
White defended her actions of turning in Ferrier amid fan accusations both throughout and after the season aired. Right before White reported the drugs to Yawn, White and Ferrier had gotten into an argument over cabin arrangements.
Andy Cohen relayed that message on an episode of “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” on August 10, 2020, right after the episode where Yawn fired Ferrier. “Did you text Sandy about Hannah because it was your duty to, or because you were upset about the bunk-swapping debacle?” Cohen asked White. “I already had my bunk at that point, so, yeah, it was because it was my duty to,” White replied. “I don’t want to lose my licensing.” White added, “Hannah knows that what she was doing was wrong. She knows that it’s against the rules.”