Why Below Deck Mediterranean Is Losing A Major Star For Season 7

screenshot malia white
(Image credit: Bravo)

The Below Deck franchise is known to have faced some turbulent waters in the past. Usually, the trouble materializes while filming the yachtie lifestyle reality series, as demanding primary guests and co-worker drama ensues in very close quarters. Apparently though, there’s also a major casting upset on the horizon as well. Malia White, longtime alum of the Mediterranean spinoff, has confirmed her absence from the upcoming seventh season and explained why it had to happen.

Technically, Bravo fans have been watching her climb the proverbial ladder on the show for several years now. She entered the fray in Season 2 as a “green” deckhand (i.e. unexperienced)m and by the time of last year’s Season 6, Malia White had fully leaned into her promotion to bosun. As a result, the 31-year-old is one of the most easily recognizable Below Deck Mediterranean stars to date, if not of the entire franchise to boot. So why is she leaving? In an interview with Metro, White hinted that it’s not necessarily a permanent exit, saying:

I haven’t left. It’s not that I might never come back to the show. I’m just not on the next season. I got in a really bad scooter accident. And I’m studying for this big [exam], so it’s just a good time for me to take a break and take a step back.

The exam Malia White referenced is her endeavor to elevate her rank even further to that of an officer. Meanwhile, White's gnarly scooter accident took place last July, literally just hours prior to Below Deck Mediterranean Season 6's premiere on Bravo. At the time, she revealed that she could’ve potentially lost her life, but luckily, she made it out with “just” a fractured elbow, broken toes, a concussion and road rash. Presumably the reality star needed some time to recover from those injuries before jumping back into filming.

However, there are those who speculate that the Below Deck Mediterranean castmate has left for another reason entirely. Last year, a renewed backlash was leveled at the bosun concerning Hannah Ferrier's infamous firing in Season 5, where Malia White reported Ferrier to Captain Sandy for bringing undeclared drugs onboard. Ferrier and many of her supporters maintain that White’s decision to out her was insensitive to the issue of the chief stew’s anxiety problems (which is what the drugs were allegedly prescribed for in the first place). White was emphatic to the out that she “didn’t leave" because of the backlash, as has been guessed. She said:

And the misconceptions are on the show [that] I got a lot of heat for the whole Hannah thing and all this stuff. I don’t hold any regrets or anxiety toward the show. It’s just what’s happened has happened and time to move on from it. Everyone’s learned, and it’s time to just move on.

A leaked list of the supposed Season 7 lineup, per The Brag, suggests that only two alums beside Captain Sandy are returning: Courtney Veale and Mzi Dempers. The two were best known for making out with each other on drunken crew nights off last year. The rest of the cast are seemingly newbies to Below Deck Mediterranean.

It’s not exactly surprising that most of the former stars perhaps opted to not return for another stint. The drama with second stew Lexi Wilson in Season 6 hit such a boiling point with everyone around her that Captain Sandy eventually had to fire her. And yet, Wilson later accused her co-stars of embellishing their reactions for camera time – even going so far as to label Malia White an “insider for production” who would “influence” the cast to drink and would do anything to “stay on TV.”

Lexi Wilson might just be surprised then to learn the news of Malia White’s official exit from the show. But the controversial second stew shouldn’t be too excited because White clearly indicates that it’s not forever.

Below Deck Mediterranean’s Season 7 is expected to release sometime in the fall. Catch up on past seasons with a Peacock subscription.

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.