WE tv announced on Tuesday that they are expanding their popular Love After Lockup prison romance reality show franchise with a brand new spin-off series titled Life After Lockup. The new show will feature the entire cast of Love After Lockup Season 2 (minus Caitlin and Matt) plus Andrea and Lamar from Season 1. The lack of returning cast members from the first season was a surprise to me, and apparently I was not alone.
After we shared the news about the spin-off, Canadian Season 1 star Mary Catherine took to Twitter to express her frustration over WE tv’s decision-making:
Proof they don’t want to show a REAL, couple who made it ! And still continues to shine and do well! Exact proof they are only here for drama, drug addicts and toothless losers
— Mary Catherine D (@MaryD_WEtv) April 23, 2019
Sorry I meant non-trashy, happy, successful couples :). Haven’t seen any of those other than us
— Mary Catherine D (@MaryD_WEtv) April 23, 2019
Mary’s co-star Johnna DiGrigoli also chimed in to express her frustration over Mary and Dom being excluded:
OH HELL TO THE NAW! You moved on from Garrett — literally and figuratively — and you’re living a new, single life in Austin, Texas. That is hella-relevant! #LifeAfterLockup ??
— Starcasm (@starcasm) April 23, 2019
In addition to her responses to us, Mary also shared a tweet that suggested we would be hearing more from her on the subject soon. “I have SO MUCH to say.. brb,” she wrote.
And Mary WAS NOT KIDDING!
She returned to Twitter and Instagram today to share a very lengthy post expressing her feelings about the new spin-off, and also how she felt deceived by producers as far as what the goal of the show was and is. Posting excerpts would be doing Mary an injustice, so I will include her Instagram text graphic gallery as well as her post in its entirety:
I make it a rule to never post when angry – I would rather take some time to gather my thoughts and post when I’m level headed. That being said, yesterday an announcement was made that Love After Lockup would be airing Love After Lockup: Life After Lockup as a spin-off series to the original show. Like you (the general public), I also found this news out online. After working with our production team for years (three and counting), I would have expected to find this news out from them directly, which is frustrating and disappointing to say the least as we were continuously strung along.
Dominic and I will not be involved with Life After Lockup. It seems as though our story and image does not align with the direction of the franchise. We chose to do season 1 of Love After Lockup to end the stereotypes of incarcerated relationships and shed a new light on our relationship proving that real people, who are educated, come from good families, have good jobs and are genuine can be in these types of relationships.
#LoveAfterLockup Mary and Dom FINALLY had the big wedding they wanted! Well, the big wedding reception they wanted. Check out the photos!
??????? @MaryD_WEtv @WEtv https://t.co/9WpQnmocxG
— Starcasm (@starcasm) November 3, 2018
If you have watched the show, it is fairly apparent that Love After Lockup aims to portray a less than flattering image of those of us who are coming home from prison or have stood by an inmate during their incarceration. It would seem that show showcases people suffering from drug addition, mental illness, or other various problems. These types of individuals featured are not supported and cheered on for their success, but to make a complete mockery of a stereo-typically “trashy” lifestyle. Being on the show, I felt this first hand and learned very quickly that we were being bashed and not being built-up.
Many people online referred to the show and cast members as “Trash TV” and a “train wreck”. I was initially under the impression that the series was meant to showcase those of us who don’t fit the assumed “prison couple” image and never imagined that the show would involve this caliber of individuals and their stories. For this reason I am thrilled to not be associated with the show or associated with or compared to the other cast members and their stories.
For our fans we will continue to share our story so you can see that happy endings exist. Our goal has always been to prove to the world that people can truly change their lives around and rehabilitate back into the world as strong, positive, contributing members of the community. We loved the platform we have and grew to give you hope and show you that real love exists and incarcerated relationships can last.
I am glad I got to experience the ups and downs of the TV world with my partner and you haven’t seen the last of us. For those who have messaged me and continue to message me that we were your favourite couple and we inspire you and have given you hope – that’s why we did this show and I am so happy to hear all your kind words. We wanted to help support the inmate community and we will always continue to share our story on social media and share all the exciting new things we plan for our future.
Best thing I can take away from this experience is Dominic and the true, real life love we have. Dominic is still on parole and we still have friends in and out of the system and are still very much a part of and supporting the inmate community. I’ve also gained two life long friends, Johnna and James that I have the network and production team to thank for.
TV may or may not be in our future but if being successful, happy and having your sh*t together is boring, I’m okay with that!
I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again… on TV or off TV our story was REAL.
Johnna responded to Mary’s post by agreeing with her on being deceived about what the show was trying to do. “I will say that I was 100% sold the idea that this show was to rid stereotypes,” Johnna said. “I was told ‘you’ll be the girl next door, everyone will love you.’ When the show aired a very different picture was painted and the audience did not at all love me. While I have no problems with the new cast, they certainly don’t fit what the producers claimed they wanted.”
Prior to being cast on the show, Johnna did a lot of work towards changing people’s perspectives on prison relationships. She built a “prison wife” brand on social media as she shared her relationship with Garrett on various platforms, so it’s easy to understand her frustration.
Johnna concluded by iterating her disappointment in WE tv for not approaching Mary and Dom to be on Love After Lockup: Life After Lockup. “I am disappointed that they didn’t include you and Dom because your story deserves to be shared. Love you babe! ?”
As I stated on Twitter, I would have loved to have seen ANY of the Season 1 couples on Life After Lockup, and I am genuinely surprised they didn’t include at least one additional couple (or single). Of course, there has been a great deal of confusion because it was initially announced that Season 2 was being expanded. I am assuming that they opted to repackage the expansion as a separate spin-off, which might explain why they didn’t approach the Season 1 cast members?
Either way, I will still hold out hope that the continued popularity of the Love After Lockup franchise will have producers looking to bring some of the OGs back — including Mary and Dom. Of course, it sounds like Mary and Dom might not even come back at this point! ?
Be sure to use the Twitter and Instagram embeds above to follow Mary and keep up with her and Dom’s happily ever after!
Asa Hawks is a writer and editor for Starcasm. You can contact Asa via Twitter, Facebook, or email at starcasmtips(at)yahoo.com