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‘Below Deck Down Under’ Cast Addresses Why Everyone Had a Problem With Chef Ryan McKeown Throughout the Season (Exclusive)

Not a team player? The Below Deck Down Under premiere teased plenty of drama — starting with the tension between chef Ryan McKeown and the rest of the crew.

Related: Below Deck's Biggest Drama Through the Years

“If arrogant was, like, personified, it would be Ryan. He’s a very arrogant man,” chief stew Aesha Scott exclusively told Us Weekly about her “difficult” cast member. “I think that that’s something that everyone — not just as a chef — it’s kind of difficult to be around anyone that’s arrogant.”

The Below Deck Mediterranean alum noted that she wasn’t too affected by Ryan’s behavior because of past experience: “For me, I’ve been doing yachting for a long time and every chef is a difficult toddler. I don’t know why that’s just how they are. So, he was no different. I kind of expect it from every chef I work with.”

Below Deck Down Under Cast Addresses Why Everyone Had a Problem With Chef Ryan Throughout the Season
Aesha Scott, Jason Champers, and Ryan Mckeown Laurent Basset/Peacock (3)

Fans originally noticed issues between the chef and the rest of the team during the trailer for season 1. The newcomer later didn’t get off on the right foot when he came on board in Australia.

Related: Former ‘Below Deck’ Stars: Where Are They Now?

For Captain Jason Chambers, Ryan’s attitude provided some ups and downs as they continued to work together.

“I like everyone. We all had a great time. [Ryan’s] food was great and you saw in the first episode that the guests responded to his food,” Jason noted to Us, admitting that Ryan tends to “stir up drama” the most. “Every crew battles fatigue and working environments change and attitudes change. And then when the attitude changes, as I said, they lose focus.”

The Australia native explained that he wasn’t against letting a crew member go if they weren’t contributing positivity. “In the yachting industry, there’s gonna be ups and downs. We’re trying to achieve the high standard in hospitality and these guests are paying money and we need to constantly not lose that focus,” he added. “If people can’t see that, or they have an attitude against that, as a captain, I have to make changes.”

Related: Stars Fired From ‘Below Deck’ Through the Years: Photos

Jason also addressed his approach when it comes to crew discipline as their boss. “[If someone gets] hindered by someone else’s issues then I let the crew sort that out themselves. Then they start to learn themselves that we’re gonna stick together,” he shared. “Let’s just not go there. Let’s just not do it. Let’s enjoy our working environment and be respectful to each other and enjoy and have fun.”

Below Deck Down Under airs new episodes Thursdays on Peacock.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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