Wes O’Dell is speaking out about Rayna Lindsey calling him not Black enough and is letting fans know that he didn’t want this to happen between the show’s only Black cast members.
The season finale of Below Deck culminated the season of drama with just a bit more drama. Lindsey has been festering the remainder of the season since Heather Chase’s use of the n-word.
Chase literally fell to her knees asking for forgiveness. O’Dell, the other Black crew member on the show, attempted to diffuse the situation which caused he and Lindsey to have an altercation.
Things escalated, and Lindsey told O’Dell, who is biracial, that wasn’t Black enough to understand the situation.
“Calling me not Black is painful,” O’Dell said on the show. “You’re going to throw me away, someone who has wanted to help you? Yeah, I’m deeply hurt about that.”
In an interview with Gangplank Report podcast, O’Dell gave more insight into the incident.
“Going through all of it, it was hurtful,” he said on the blowup with Lindsey. “I didn’t expect it. I didn’t see that coming. So I was just blindsided.”
On Chase’s use of the word, O’Dell explained, “The reason I always stuck with context is when you have something coming in a malicious act or something out of a place of hate. There’s a difference between being litty titty and making a mistake – and a mistake that should never happen. But in [Heather’s] defense, she messed up and she messed up on live TV, which is stupid…And when she did admit it, I’m still at the observation stage. It’s like what more can there be done? At this point, after everybody is aware of it, it’s going to be shown. Now it’s up to the public to make their own decisions. And sadly, be judge of all of this. Judge of her character and judge of her as a person.”
O'Dell said though he is biracial, he has faced racism and understands it, as well as the contexts of using the n-word.
Though he was raised in St. Thomas and has a white father and Black mother O’Dell says he has been in racist situations in the United States, as he moved here to go to school.
“I know the difference between when somebody is coming from a place of hate,” he added. “I don’t accept it. I don’t agree with it. And it’s not a thing anybody should do. But when it’s said in lyrics, and somebody is hammered drunk doing this. No, I don’t respect the person. We’re going to hang out with them and do like – no, of course not. But I will tell them about it’s like – not cool. That’s something you shouldn’t ever do. To understand what that means for me and the rest of my people. You can’t say this because of the history of what that word means to everybody.”
His issue with Lindsey seems to the principle of the matter of them being the only Black people and having a fight.
“I was more taken aback that I felt in that situation being the only two Black people on the yacht and in a very non-diverse industry, yachting, sailing – anything with boats,” he continued. ‘I thought I was that confidante or that friend she could rely on and would be able to talk to. And that’s why I talked to her and said, ‘Let’s stop this. Quit it.’ Tried to end all of that stuff on our last night out. I thought my words would get through to her. And she would understand it.”
No word yet on O’Dell, Chase or Lindsey’s status for the next season of the show.