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Courtesy of Lifetime/Kinetic

Should any arrest history or criminal record keep you from being cast for Married at First Sight?

The site, The Suites, recently shared a mug shot of current Season 7 cast member Tristan Thompson from 2007. After digging into public records to find some tea about Thompson, who already doesn’t get much love due to comments about not dating women darker than him, they found a past arrest, and claimed match Mia Bally isn’t the only one holding on to secrets.

“Public records show that Thompson was arrested back in 2007 for Driving under the influence and evading arrests,” the site wrote. From there, that past mistake was used to speak on alleged claims of abuse against Bally, and to put out text messages, allegedly between someone close to Bally and Season 7 cast member Dave, in an attempt to show that the rest of the cast isn’t a fan of Thompson.

“Now that this information has come to the forefront, should Thompson be viewed differently?” the site asked. “What does Bally have to say now, knowing she married a fraud?”

This attempt to smear Thompson isn’t needed, because if you watched any of this current season, you know he has a habit of making himself look pretty bad on his own. But this idea of him being a “fraud,” is that fair? Does a past arrest or record make Thompson, or anyone else who attempts to take part in the show, a bad fit for it? Does a past mistake mean you can’t be a good match for someone and find love on the show? Does it automatically mean you won’t be able to peacefully co-exist with your match?

In Thompson’s defense, producers were aware of the arrest when they did a background check. And there have been a number of people on the show who have been arrested for different mistakes, big and small, including DUIs like Thompson. David Norton from the Season 3 was arrested back in 2007 for an attack that involved his ex-girlfriend and his brother. His marriage to Ashley Doherty didn’t end up working out. Heather Seidel from Season 4 was arrested for a DUI in 2011, and she pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in the early 2000s. Nicholas Pendergrast, also from Season 4, was also previously charged with disorderly conduct and possession of a fraudulent driver’s license. Seidel’s marriage barely made it through the honeymoon, and Pendergrast’s didn’t work out either. And Season 2 star Ryan De Nino allegedly threatened to kill the woman he was matched with, Jessica Castro. Her lawyer claimed those behind the show were aware of De Nino’s possible volatility, but still cast him. Obviously, the latter relationship also didn’t work out.

But just because these people who have less than clean pasts didn’t have the best success on the show doesn’t make them much different from any of the many other people who have appeared on Married at First Sight and ended up getting a divorce. Truth be told, no one knows the proper steps and ways to make a marriage to a complete stranger work. Some couples get lucky, some don’t, and in the mass majority of situations featured, an arrest record plays no part in that (Bally being arrested for stalking wasn’t the reason her marriage to Thompson ended — it was his habit of being controlling after the fact that sunk things).

A source from Kinetic Content actually told us that a large number of people who’ve been a part of the show have had some run-ins with the law at some point in their young lives. If that was a major part of the criteria, “Nobody would go through.” But unless the people are repeat offenders, the source said, “It shouldn’t disqualify you from finding love.”

I would agree. Thompson may be a tiresome individual to watch, and clearly be married to, but a DUI at the age of 19 or 20 has nothing to do with that. Many people have been arrested or found themselves in trouble at some point in life, but that doesn’t make them unworthy or unqualified to look for love — especially on TV. And considering that the man has been able to open up a number of tutoring club franchises to help other young people get ready for college and stay out of trouble despite the DUI, it shouldn’t be something that would have disqualified him from being on Married at First Sight. Now the colorism comment? Maybe so…

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