This past Monday’s episode of Below Deck: Mediterranean was one of the hardest to watch. On the episode, chief stew (and longtime cast member) Hannah Ferrier was confronted by Captain Sandy Yawn after bosun Malia White turned a picture of Ferrier’s “drugs” into Yawn.
Yawn confronted Ferrier on the drugs- a package of valium, which Ferrier claims to have had prescribed for anxiety and a CBD pen- and ended up firing her immediately due to this.
Captain Sandy Explains Why She Fired Hannah
While Yawn and White continued to explain on the episode why Ferrier had to be let go- referring to maritime laws, the fact that Ferrier never declared she had a valium prescription upon her arrival on the boat, and concerns about the safety of the guests if Ferrier was ‘under the influence’- many fans were enraged watching the episode. On social media, many expressed their distaste for what happened and how Ferrier was let go. Not only was it bothersome that White took a picture of Ferrier’s private property and turned it over to the captain, fans were also bothered by how long Yawn had worked with Ferrier, only for her to cast Ferier so quickly aside. Additionally, it’s not as if Ferrier was taking “hard drugs” and she clearly had anxiety (something Ferrier re-iterated to Yawn on the episode that she knew) and had ONE panic attack during the season. For many, it seemed as if someone (Ferrier) was being discriminated against for having a medical condition (anxiety).
Now, in the wake of Ferrier being fired, she has broken her silence on the ordeal. Additionally, many things that have occurred on Below Deck: Mediterranean are starting to be re-examined, as they seem like complete hypocrisies given what has happened now.
In an interview with Decider, Ferrier spoke out about being let go and re-watching this play out on this past week’s episode.
“I’m actually just really disturbed,” Ferrier said of re-watching things this past week. “I think especially seeing how it played out. Obviously when I’m in the moment, it’s very confronting. It’s very shocking. I think especially just saying things like, ‘Is she flushing the drugs?’ You can see on my face when she opens that bathroom door. My pants are undone. I’m going to the bathroom. I’m like, why would I flush my medication? But it wouldn’t have crossed my mind to flush Valium, because I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong. It’s anti-anxiety medication. It’s like, it’s five milligrams of Valium! It was just disappointing.”
The Chief Stew Is Frustrated With The Bosun’s Take
“To see Malia on Watch What Happens Live,” Ferrier continued, “and using the word ‘narcotic.’ t’s not narcotics. It’s anti-anxiety medication. I think I’ve just been really disappointed because I feel I’m being painted as some sort of drug addict or what have you. Which is just so sad, because there are so many people in the world that suffer from mental illness. And it’s 2020. We shouldn’t be making people feel like a lesser for taking medication for mental illness. Or making them feel like they can’t do a job, or they can’t do what normal people can do.”
Ferrier had more to say, explaining that “The thing that frustrates me with Malia is the way she’s talking. The night that I had the panic attack, I didn’t have Valium then either. You heard a bottle cap being flipped, which is Advil PM. But as you saw, the Valium is in a box. So you’re not going to be popping a pill bottle to get Valium out of a box. I hadn’t actually had any Valium the entire charter season. That’s kind of what frustrated me with the whole situation more than anything. It wasn’t like I was using it. I was using Advil PM almost nightly because my feet were so swollen. I’m too old to work in yachting now. So that was very frustrating.”
On the topic of valium, Ferrier also shared that “To me, it’s just anti-anxiety medication. I made the mistake of not clearing it when I brought it on the boat. Because I’ve always had it, every year. It just wasn’t really a process that went through my mind. That was my mistake. But yeah, it certainly wasn’t something I was trying to hide”
“Obviously, I would have declared the medication when I went on board,” Ferrier added, of things she would have done differently this season.
All About Captain Sandy And Adderall
Since Ferrier’s firing, fans have started to re-visit some of the things that have occurred both on and off the boat in regards to cast members on the show- and are pointing out how they seem hypocritical in light of firing Ferrier.
One of the stories they’re referring to is Yawn admitting she took Adderall.
In an interview from earlier this year with People, Yawn details a harrowing experience where she realized she was having a heart attack during a Soul Cycle class.
“I remember thinking I was going to clip off the bike so I don’t fall,” Yawn explained. “I didn’t want to disrupt the class, and I certainly wasn’t going to call 911 in the middle of Beverly Hills,” she says. “So I decided to call an Uber, and then I called my sister — and I survived.”
Yawn then detailed the signs she was experiencing, stating that “I could not swallow… I was watching my heart rate on my watch and it didn’t go down, and I started to feel lightheaded. I didn’t have any numbness, then when I got off my bike and walked outside, I started to feel the tingle in my left arm, exactly how described.”
Yawn ended up revealing that she had SCAD (spontaneous coronary artery dissection), which is a tear in the heart’s blood vessels. She explained that this developed from having high blood pressure that went undiagnosed.
Noting that “I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, it had nothing to do with that” in the interview, Yawn later ended up mentioning a drug- specifically, Adderall. Adderall is a drug typically prescribed for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) to help someone focus who has trouble doing so.
In the interview, Yawn mentioned she was on Adderrall, revealing that “I have a hard time focusing— until I’m docking a boat, that’s when I can laser-focus because it’s so intense… I had a prescription of Adderall. I started taking the prescription as prescribed, and I believe it was a combination of the Adderall, topped with the high blood pressure and on SoulCycle.”
“My doctor recommended I don’t take that medication anymore,” Yawn added, “and since then I’m fine. I still have a hard time focusing, so I gotta work on that part, and I was told to meditate.”
As Yawn has previously explained on the show she was a former alcoholic. Fans have questioned why she would possibly be prescribed a drug that can potentially (according to Addiction Center) be “high-risk” for “addiction and abuse.” Adderall also has the potential to keep you awake at night/cause insomnia. While there was a concern for Ferrier being “under the influence” if she had taken her valium, wouldn’t there be an equal concern then if Yawn had ever taken her Adderall and potentially stayed up all night and been on little-to-no sleep while being the captain of the ship?
Of course, Yawn taking Adderall was never mentioned on the show- nor is there any proof that she necessarily took it while on the ship- but it does make sense why fans are starting to examine this more closely, as both Adderall and valium are medications used to treat specific conditions and both carry a risk of addiction.
“I Have Smelled Alcohol On Your Breath” — Why Didn’t Sandy Fire Travis?
Speaking of alcohol, last season Yawn confronted cast member Travis Michalzik about his drinking. When talking to Michalzik, Yawn shared her story of being an alcoholic and being in recovery. Yawn seemed to sympathize with Michalzik and even though she noted she had “smelled alcohol” on his breath, she did not end up letting him go/fire him.
“The only place I’m coming from is compassion because I’ve been there- it’s addiction,” Yawn shared with Michalzik on the episode. “Sometimes I just wish I could have a glass of wine, but it’s like I can’t stop with one. I would have the whole bottle, then another one, then another one. It got me nowhere. Or, sometimes, incarcerated.”
Yawn also explained in a confessional interview on the show that “Alcoholism runs in my family. When I add alcohol, I cannot predict my behavior. As a result, I would get in a car and drink and drive. I was always in the hospital. I woke up one day and said, ‘I want it different.'”
While fans applauded Yawn’s approach to Michalzik- and appreciated her candor in sharing her own story- it’s understandable why they are now pointing to this as hypocritical. If Michalzik wasn’t fired for Yawn “smelling alcohol” on his breath, why was Ferrier fired for having a prescription for anxiety medication?
In a Below Deck Reddit, some fans have mentioned that Yawn went on Instagram live and was confronted about this. According to the Reddit, she claimed it was different because Michalzik was using “alcohol” and “not drugs”- which, it should be noted, is hypocritical in and of itself, as alcohol is a drug.
Charter Guest Behavior
In the wake of Ferrier’s firing, many have also started to talk about the charter guest’s behavior. It’s not uncommon to see guests completely intoxicated, acting ridiculous and out of sorts. If Yawn (and White) are so worried about “guest safety,” why does the boat keep serving them drinks after a certain point? Surely, if someone was so inebriated and there was a major accident where they needed to get off the boat, it would be a very daunting task at that level of intoxication.
Fans have also discussed that when the cast goes out and has an “off” night, they tend to also stay out all night and get quite drunk until the wee hours of the morning. Surely they could still be feeling some of the effects the next morning when they wake up to prepare the boat for its next charter. And, it’s interesting to note, on their last night out Ferrier ended up coming back early and relaxing in her room rather than staying out partying all night.
“Stronger Than Drammamine”
Fans have also brought up former cast member Kasey Cohen and her seasickness. In an interview documented by Cheat Sheet, Cohen explained that she was doing a lot of work such as laundry and turn-down service- and thus not getting a lot of fresh air. Due to this, Cohen revealed she was experiencing seasickness. While noting that she tried “sea bands” (a band worn around the wrist to help combat seasickness) it did not help her.
Cohen ended up having to see a doctor who prescribed medicine, as she explained that “The doctor also prescribed some seasickness medication, which was a higher power than Dramamine.
In the interview, Cohen mentions drowsiness as a side effect and explains how Yawn knew about the medicine, even going so far as to say that Yawn would tell her daily if the waters would be rough so that Cohen would know if she should take this medicine or not.
So, to be clear, it was okay with Yawn that Cohen took medicine that caused drowsiness to combat seasickness, but would not have been okay with Yawn if Ferrier had taken valium to combat her anxiety. There is no denying this is completely hypocritical and deserves to be questioned.
While there are other examples that fans are talking about in the wake of Ferrier’s firing, these are some of the main ones. It’s understandable why longtime fans of the show- and fans of Ferrier’s- are not only upset with the way things went down, but also with the glaring hypocrisies they are now able to reference from the past. It will be interesting to see if Yawn or White address any of these any further and what happens to the future of Below Deck: Mediterranean, as many are claiming they are so disgusted they don’t plan on watching the show any more. Considering that their ratings this past week were at an all-time high for the season, though, we don’t see Bravo pulling the plug on the franchise anytime soon.
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