DeVon Franklin has responded to fans upset he’s been hired as a relationship expert on Married at First Sight, after filing for divorce from Meagan Good.
The author and film producer took to Instagram Thursday after news broke about his new gig on the Lifetime series. Franklin shared a screen shot of an article from Essence on his new job and said he refuses to “live in fear and shame.”
“Last year, Married At First Sight invited me to come on the show. I agreed to do it … and then the divorce hit,” he wrote in his post. “They came to me and said that didn’t matter to them because they still felt like I could help their couples. I was going to tell them ‘No’ because I felt shame and that voice in my head said, ‘you’re a failure, how can you help anybody save their marriage when yours didn’t work out.'”
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He continued: “That voice in my head also had me thinking about what would ‘people’ say? Would ‘people’ approve or disapprove? And then I had to ask myself: Is this how I’m going to live the rest of my life? In fear about what ‘people’ say?”
Franklin added in all caps: “I REFUSE TO LIVE IN FEAR OR SHAME!”
His comments came after fans of the show burned up social media, with some urging Franklin to leave the marriage advice to others.
Twitter user @NicoleShanique wrote: “Devon Franklin coming on here as an ‘expert’ AFTER fumbling Megan [sic] Good is laughable. #MAFS”
@ideeryoubambi added, “Why is Devon Franklin joining #mafs as an expert when he couldn’t sustain a happy marriage himself?”
@Reesellaneous tweeted: “Is this real? I don’t want to discriminate but DeVon Franklin’s divorce isn’t even final yet should he be counseling anybody right now? #Mafs #MarriedAtFirstSight.”
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Married At First Sight follows 10 singles who’ve agreed to marry a stranger all in the search for love. Each season, a panel of experts uses scientific matchmaking methods to pair singles with their respective bride/groom.
Franklin will join the show’s returning relationship advisors Dr. Pepper Schwartz and Pastor Calvin Roberson alongside newcomer, Dr. Pia Holec, a psychotherapist who specializes in sex and couples therapy.
Season 15 of Married at First Sight premieres Wednesday, July 6, 8/7c, Lifetime.