While 90 Day Fiancé is a “reality” TV show, certain moments throughout the series have made some viewers question its authenticity. Whether it’s the storylines or the cast members raising eyebrows, fans may wonder how much the producers intervene in their favorite couples’ lives. On the rare occasion when a person from the 90 Day Fiancé cast or crew spilled the tea, they’ve sometimes confirmed that TLC does take steps to create a more compelling TV show.
Cast members are forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement when joining the show, but disgruntled alumni often break it to share their experiences. This is the case for certain 90 Day Fiancé stars who severed their ties with TLC and shared behind-the-scenes information.
When Devan Clegg joined 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way for its first two seasons, she had no idea about the drama and heartbreak waiting for her in Korea. After her tumultuous relationship with Jihoon, Devan shared her negative experience with fans.
“Season 1 … 96% was fake,” Devan alleged in a Q&A on Instagram, (later shared on Reddit). According to the star, she and Jihoon were already married long before their wedding episode. She admits that, a month before their wedding in Korea, the couple had already broken up and there was never any romance between them. She alleges they faked everything to pay off debts with money from the show.
Actor For Hire
The executive producer of the show, Matt Sharp, claimed in Glamour’s oral history of 90 Day Fiancé that every couple on the show is authentic and that they have to prove their relationship during the casting process. Ben Rathbun of season 5 said otherwise in an interview on YouTube.
Ben claims TLC approached himt o appear on an island-themed dating show, but he declined. Later, the network approached him again for 90 Day Fiancé, and he decided, “That one I can do,” spurring his bizarre relationship with Mahogany. While these are merely allegations on Ben’s part, many viewers suspected all along that theirs was a romance faked to appear on 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days. leaving them disappointed in the show’s integrity.
Ashley and Jay met at a resort, but their relationship was far from paradise. After the couple’s wedding, Jay was discovered to have been cheating on Ashley with a woman he met on the dating app Tinder, where he claimed to be single. However, after the show, Jay claimed in an interview with In Touch Weekly that the entire scenario was faked for drama.
“The Tinder incident that happened, that was staged because without drama you don’t have a show,” Jay admitted in the interview. “It was just an act, so it was easy to move [past it] because you know, we just act on the TV, and after, that was it.” Though the incident was allegedly faked, the two divorced in 2021, leaving fans wondering just how many conflicts such as this are created by producers.
It’s no secret that 90 Day Fiancé takes many creative liberties while editing the show. Fans are often commenting on the unnatural jumps and cuts in episodes that feel disingenuous. Season 7 couple Michael and Juliana spoke out on social media about this issue after facing backlash due to manipulative editing of one of their episodes.
“This is the biggest bunch of manufactured bulls— … shame on you Sharp Entertainment and TLC,” Micheal wrote (via In Touch Weekly). The scene did not accurately depict how the discussion over a prenuptial agreement went, prompting criticism against the couple and Michaels’s ex-wife Sarah. “It’s not really reflective of our reality,” said Micheal in closing, confirming fans’ fears the show’s editing helps fake conflicts between couples.
Upon Annie’s arrival in the US in season 5, her fiancé’s best friend Chris asked if, in exchange for his financial aid to the couple, she would be willing to give him Thai massages by his pool. It was an uncomfortable moment that outraged many fans, inciting criticism. However, according to David and his wife Nikki, this was line fed to him by producers.
In a bizarre “mukbang reality TV Q&A” YouTube video, Chris and Nikki described how the scene was filmed multiple times because he wasn’t saying the unsettling line “naturally” enough and that the entire scenario was suggested by producers. Despite this awkward scene, David and Annie went on find success beyond this difficult season, becoming two of the best cast members on 90 Day Fiancé: Pillow Talk.
Avery Mills of 90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days shared her experience with the film crew with fans on TikTok. In an odd turn of events, a cameraman warned her and Omar that the show would try to mess up their wedding day, prompting the couple to secretly get married before their on-screen wedding.
With this confession, Avery revealed the couple’s conflict prior to the wedding where she argued with Omar for not preparing enough was entirely faked, an unsubstantiated 90 Day Fiancé temper tantrum. “I had to act like I was so mad at him. But in reality, we already got married earlier that morning,” the star said, as recorded by The Hollywood Gossip. While these allegations were made in a since-deleted TikTok video, the message is clear.
Executive producer Dan Adler explained 90 Day Fiancé’s filming process in a telling interview with Glamour. His explanation openly alludes to the calculated process the crew goes through to capture the scenes they think will make for the best show, rather than focusing on reality.
Adler himself confirms, “We tell producers we don’t want to ever see someone enter the room. If you see them enter, it feels produced,” explained Adler. He continues, “At this point in nonfiction television, viewers have a detector in their chest. If something doesn’t feel real or authentic, it goes off.” As many fans suspect, there are fake elements of the show, right down to the filming process.
After Larissa’s season-long storyline surrounding her desire for plastic surgery, fans are well aware that multiple aspects of her face are now fake, however, it turns out the storyline may be as well. Adding to the long list of 90 Day Fiancé storylines Redditors think are fake, Larissa admitted the plastic surgery storyline wasn’t true to how it was portrayed on the show.
While Larissa did get her $70,000 plastic surgeries at the end of the season, it wasn’t her boyfriend Eric Nichols who paid, despite the season-long conflict between the two regarding him footing the bill. After her termination from TLC, Larissa admitted, “The surgery thing was created by the show to get people talking about it.” This is another example of producers creating false storylines for drama.
Stephanie Davison’s time on 90 Day Fiancé was disastrous, ending in allegations of sexual assault, a date with her fiancé’s cousin and to top it all off, an unsettling hour-long Instagram reel where Stephanie tells her side of the story. She made strong claims against TLC’s unauthentic practices, ending her post with “#realitytvisntreal.”
According to the star, she and Ryan’s relationship had ended weeks before they shot the show. Stephanie has a lot to say about TLC’s mishandling of her situation, stating they forced her to film for more than 12 hours a day, demanding she repeat lines they fed her until they were satisfied. Other cast mates have similar horror stories of their time on the show, which they claim was highly manipulated and scripted.
Matt and Alla are a shining example of a 90DF couple that was able to make their love story last after their time on the show. While their love is authentic, it turns out not every aspect of their portrayal on the show was, according to Alla in a since-deleted Reddit comment.
During an interview, Alla admitted that the producers asked her to get angry and throw a chair for part of a promo. “TLC made me do that. They used it to promote the show but never came up with the story for it,” she explained (via In Touch Weekly). Fans caught onto this discrepancy, once again proving not all is as real as TLC would like viewers to believe.