On Sunday, fans watched at Jen blindsided Rishi and his family as a friend revealed their three-year engagement. Rishi ended the episode in tears.
Naturally, a lot of viewers had a lot to say on social media. About Jen. About her friends.
Rishi has personally defended Jen in the wake of the episode. He even said that Jen’s friends did him a “favor.”
But 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way fans say that Jen and her friends have crossed way too many lines.
Jen Boecher’s friends are there for her — they provide her with emotional support. They even traveled halfway around the world to cheer her on in India.
But Randi and Myra (and particularly Randi) have also gotten onto the bad side of some viewers. Though Randi catfished Rishi as a favor to Jen, some fans did not understand the move. And they labeled it “intrusive.”
That sentiment only increased after Season 4, Episode 13. This was when, with the help of a translator and with Jen’s blessing, Randi revealed the three-year engagement to Rishi’s mom and uncle. This screenshot speaks for itself:
Rishi had hidden this relationship, not to mention the engagement, for three years.
His mother and uncle expressed astonishment. They clearly had not seen this coming.
Privately, however, they condemned the romance — telling the cameras (and, later, Rishi) that this could never happen.
A large (frankly, astonishing) number of replies on social media were nothing short of scathing when it comes to Jen and her friends.
People accused her of “bullying” Rishi, of “disrespecting” him, his family, and “Indian culture” at every step of the way.
A lot of uncharitable responses to Jen and Rishi’s drama essentially labeled Jen a villain who was “ruining” a family.
And a large number of longtime fans of the series drew comparisons to Jenny Slatten and Sumit Singh, another American woman dating a younger Indian man. Another couple where their primary issue was the man’s family.
Obviously, with rare exceptions, tweeting or otherwise posting your take on pop culture is just part of being a fan. Sometimes it’s a little mean, but one hopes that the cast doesn’t see it.
However, people were directly sending messages to Jen, including her DMs, excoriating her after the episode aired. It became too much.
So, on Sunday night, Rishi took to Instagram to defend Jen. (And, in the process, to confirm what we already knew — that Jen and Rishi are still together)
“Dear fans, I do not like to see Jen upset,” he began his caption.
“And she is VERY UPSET by the DMs & condemnations,” Rishi told his followers, “about some things that i should have cleared up a long time ago.”
“1. Jen has been coming to India since 2014,” Rishi began his list, “and is very familiar with the general Indian culture.”
He then revealed: “2. When I proposed, I told her that my family was 100% fine with me choosing my own bride AND we could live in our own place ( joint family not necessary).”
Rishi also listed: “3. Regardless of when my family found out about the engagement, there would have had issues with the age difference. Her friends did me a favor.” Score one for Randi.
Rishi made a request: “4. Please stop suggesting to Jen that. A. she is ‘trying to change me/the culture’ (see #1+2) OR B. She ‘should have learned from Jenny & Sumit.’”
He very fairly asked: “5. Why are people lumping ALL Indians and ALL Americans into the same categories?” A solid point.
“Not ALL Indian people are the same just as not ALL American people are the same,” Rishi then stressed.
“To assume that Sumit represents all Indian men or that Jenny represents all American women is ridiculous and small-minded,” Rishi very accurately informed his followers.
“They are absolutely wonderful people,” he acknowledged, “but THEY ARE NOT US.”
Rishi concluded his post by addressing more enthusiastic fans, writing: “Thank you for your support!”
Jen and Rishi signed up for reality television. But that does not mean that they signed up for harassment. Judgment? Sure. Not directed cruelty in their inboxes. In Jen’s, mostly.
Rishi surely knows better than viewers what Jen is like, what her intentions are, and whether her actions were disrespectful. Right?
Don’t get us wrong — the idea of “ambushing” someone with relationship news is not something that most people would do. But it sounds like, to Rishi, it was helpful in the long run.