Below Deck Mediterranean‘s Max Salvador landed himself in hot water after telling Kyle Viljoen he considers himself part of the LGBTQIA+ community despite being straight.
During the Monday, November 13, episode of the show, the crew was enjoying a rowdy night out before returning to the boat. Kyle and Max ended up discussing how Max kissed their now-former charter guest and whether there could be a future there.
“I am putting my entire season’s tip money that you and Leni will never work out,” Kyle told Max, who took the bet by shaking the stew’s hand. “You are 23, and she is a grown businesswoman.”
Kyle, who is engaged to Dr. Zachary Riley, brought up the topic of sexuality when he added: “Don’t rub your f–king straight dick around here.” Max clarified that he is “LGBT plus S,” to which Kyle asked, “What is S?”
When Max confirmed he meant he is “straight,” Kyle shut down the assumption that he’s part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“You guys have your ‘straight.’ You cannot include yourself in LGBT, you must be crazy,” Kyle, who is gay, noted. “Support your straightness and show your allyship for us. That’s it.”
Max, meanwhile, was clearly tipsy after drinking all night and seemed confused by Kyle’s remark. “Me? Of being all together? You don’t like that?” he asked.
Kyle stood by his initial reaction to Max’s comment, saying, “LGBTQIA+ does not include straight individuals. Not even allies are within our acronym. That’s our thing. I accept your allyship but I do not accept you saying you’re part of the LGBTQIA+ community.”
According to Max, using the LGBTQIA+ label allowed him to join a welcoming group of people. “But bro, the goal of the world is to be accepted by everyone,” he pointed out to Kyle.
The conversation only got more tense when Kyle maintained that Max had no place in his space, adding, “You accept me but you cannot be part of my community. You’re not gay or bi.”
Natalya Scudder stepped in to explain Max’s point of view, which only made the situation worse. She asked Max whether he was interested in a threesome with another man and a woman and took his approval as a sign that he fits under the “bi-curious” label.
“A part of a community is being accepting of every community,” she said to Kyle, who fired back, “Not you. Take a backseat. It’s got nothing to do with you, it has to do with him.”
Earlier in the episode, Kyle started to question whether his friendship with Natalya was genuine. They were previously at odds while filming season 7 because Natalya felt she did more work than Kyle. Natalya and Kyle attempted to start fresh after joining the Mustique, but that quickly started to fall apart.
Kyle began to question whether Natalya was the reason the interior team wasn’t getting along. He pointed out Natalya’s feud with chief stew Tumi Mhlongo and how she seemingly made stew Jessika Asai question Kyle’s intentions.
Natalya supporting Max’s ignorant stance only caused Kyle to get more frustrated with her.
“I will talk to you the way I want. You cannot control me. You will never control me,” he told Natalya. “I don’t need you to control everybody’s opinion. [Focus on your] own f–ked-up life before you f–k up on ours. She will throw you under the f–king bus.”
The insults shocked Natalya, who said that she’s “never been spoken to like that” in her life. Kyle, meanwhile, remained unbothered by his behavior, adding, “I don’t give a f–k about our friendship. Our friendship has never been real. You have been a fake-ass bitch talking s–t since day 1. Get away from me.”
Before the episode aired, Natalya revealed where she stands with Kyle after the dramatic season of Below Deck Med.
“He is the devil,” she exclusively told Us Weekly on November 3 at BravoCon in Las Vegas. “[It’s] annoying ’cause he set me and Tumi up [for] a very bad start of the season. Tumi and I are on a good page now. We do agree there was one person who definitely caused the drama, but we are good now.”
Below Deck Mediterranean airs on Bravo Mondays at 9 p.m. ET.