Deckhand Rayna is still upset with Chief Stewardess Heather Chase over her use of the n-word on Below Deck season 9. Warning, spoilers ahead.
In episode 8, “Compliments of Captain Lee’s Travel Agency”, the crew went out for drinks after finishing the fourth charter hosting boobs-out Nichole and her dad, primary charter guest Michael Cadez. Near the end of the drunken night, Rayna Lindsey says, “This n****.”
Chase is coming out of the bathroom, and repeats racial slur, “This n****.”
Rayna looks back at Chase, kind of laughing in shock that she said it, but doesn’t address it.
Rayna Calls Out Heather Later That Night
“You cannot say n****. You white as f***,” says Rayna to Heather later that night in the crew mess when they return to superyacht My Seanna.
“That’s cancel culture, you better be careful saying the n-word. They’ll cancel you for that.”
Heather, perhaps in denial or too drunk to remember, denies ever saying it.
“I’m in shock, I don’t even remember saying that.”
Rayna then hits the top of Chase’s beer and it spills on her shirt.
“But it’s okay, I still love you,” Rayna tells Heather after calling her out.
Heather is bothered by the exchange and leaves for the night, while Jake asks her if she needs help. She declines and goes back to tell Chef Rachel Hargrove she’s upset with Rayna accusing her of saying that.
“She thought it was cool, and it hurts me, it hurts my heart. It hurts everything in me,” Rayna told producers on camera after the night was over.
Rayna Answers Fans Questions On Instagram About Heather Controversy
After episode 8 aired on Monday, fans had strong reactions for and against Rayna. She held a Q&A on Instagram to further discuss the controversy which Below Deck fans on Reddit preserved.
“Disappointed at the response to this [versus] Pete. Canceling is easy [versus] standing up for someone,” said one fan. The fan was referring to Below Deck Mediterranean cast member Pete Hunziker’s firing by Bravo for racist Instagram posts.
“@bravotv you heard the people. I’m very disappointed. They kept rewarding her all season and she thought she was gonna get away with it,” Rayna wrote in response to the fan’s statement comparing her to Pete.
“You were so kind. My blood boiled! Heather and Eddie should be fired. They don’t deserve [you],” another Below Deck fan said.
“It really impacts me moving forward. I start to become really discouraged and unhappy,” said Rayna in response to the fan. It looks like instead of Heather facing possible firing for verbal misconduct, Rayna could be the one on the chopping block. She and the rest of the deck crew are already on thin ice with Captain Lee after screwing up putting up the slide, among other issues, on charter four.
“Eddie needs to get control of his deck team yesterday, or I’m going to start handing out plane tickets, one way, compliments of Captain Lee’s travel agency.”
First Officer Eddie Lucas was unimpressed by Rayna’s “eyerolling” when he reprimanded her and Deckhand Wes O’Dell forgetting to properly scrub the skis and rescue tender.
First Officer Eddie Lucas Ensnared in Heather Racial Slur Controversy
Some fans were not impressed with First Officer Eddie Lucas’ handling of Heather using a racial slur, too. When Rayna informed him the next day he said he would not be cool with it had he if he saw it happen, he’d have said something. But he didn’t follow up with her or express any shock when Rayna informed him Heather had said it.
“He doesn’t understand,” Rayna said after leaving his cabin.
“Did ANY of the crew say they were sorry what happened to you?!” asked another fan on Instagram.
“Yeah, they all did except Captain Lee, and Eddie pretty much was outta pocket with the apology. Idk if you will see that because it was bad,” Rayna responded.
Chase apologized again on Instagram after episode 8 aired:
Fans commenting on the post were unsympathetic:
“Ignorance is NO EXCUSE, especially in the year 2021. This is completely and beyond unacceptable,” said one fan.
Fans Split on Sympathy for Rayna
Despite Rayna receiving a lot of support from some Below Deck fans for having a white colleague in a higher level position use the n-word in front of her, a person of color, other Below Deck fans on Reddit were unsympathetic to Rayna.
“She’s the type who thinks everyone OWES her respect. She just doesn’t have the maturity yet to understand that respect is earned! No one owes it to you. I think she’s an entitled child who doesn’t understand how the real world & hierarchy work,” said one Reddit user with the top comment in a thread discussing everyone’s thoughts on Rayna.
“I’m totally on board with her raising concern with a leader saying this, but the timing suggests she was using that as a way to excuse her behavior, although that’s been the way she has been acting the whole season,” another top commenter wrote.
“In a normal job environment without cameras she would have been fired just for talking back to superiors or had hours reduced to the point of her quitting on her own. Negative morale for employees,” reads another top comment.
Rayna Doesn’t Accept Heather’s Apology
Rayna Lindsey isn’t accepting Heather’s apology for using the racist n-word slur in front of her. She also claims that she believes Heather said it a second time at the restaurant after the washroom incident but that it got edited out.
“I don’t. She says it regularly and that is clear,” Rayna said to a fan asking is she forgave Chase.
This could be the first of two controversies Heather Chase could be facing this season. Fans are speculating Chase may cheat with Jake Fougler later in season 9. However, so far she has rejected all of Lead Deckhand Fougler’s advances.
Heather’s use of a racial slur could put Captain Lee and much of the crew in hot water if they are dismissive of situation in future episodes. And if Rayna, like she said, loses motivation in the job over this she could be fired, making Heather using the n-word in front of her even more controversial.
We’ll find out how exactly things play out in upcoming Below Deck season 9 episodes, airing Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo.
What are your thoughts, was Rayna right to be upset with Chase and not forgive her? Leave a comment!