From the start of Season 9, Emily Bieberly and Kobe Blaise’s storyline has been a hot topic among 90 Day Fiance fans.
Viewers aren’t one-sided, at times clashing on social media as if they’re watching different shows — or coming from different planets.
Events in the latest episode left fans wondering if Emily and Kobe are even still together after a nasty confrontation.
Is Emily the bad guy that critics say that she is? It’s complicated.
Before we delve into what’s been going on with Emily Bieberly and Kobe Blaise, here’s what people are saying.
Emily’s antics on Episode 8 were certainly her worst — except perhaps in the eyes of mom-shamers who are terrified of boobs.
The social media backlash was intense, so much so that there was comparatively little said about Kobe’s behavior in the same episode.
"Trying to see where Emily was helping Kobe during that scene," one Twitter user commented.
As we will recap shortly, Emily thought that she was "helping" Kobe by attempting to micromanage him during a chore.
She was not. Had they communicated as a healthy couple should, she would have known this.
"The only reason why Emily and Kobe are fighting, is because Emily is starting every disagreement," claimed another.
Actually, that’s not quite the truth, though she certainly caused a major disagreement in the stables on Episode 8.
Previously, Kobe started an argument, both wanting Emily to breastfeed in private for some reason and wanting her to stop altogether.
"No Emily, YOU were being rude. YOU ARE ALWAYS RUDE DEMANDING & CONTROLLING!" another exclaimed on Twitter.
"You were not talking talking to him, you were nagging, berating, & disrespectful to kobe," the person continued.
"You have no thought about how your actions affect him. Its you," the tweeter wrote. "You are the issue." That’s at least partially true.
Turning back the clock a little, Emily — though instantly on many viewers’ hit lists — started off in a good place this season.
Kobe was the one who picked a fight with her over breastfeeding, in part admitting that he wanted her breasts to herself instead of having to "share" with his son.
He also tried to discourage her from nursing her son or pumping milk in her own home, asking that she go hide in the basement.
There are, unfortunately, other people who think like this in the world, though culturally this mom-shaming weirdness is going out of style in the US.
This is why so many celebrities share breastfeeding photos on social media, pushing to normalize something that is very normal.
If someone has sexualized breasts to the point where they cannot conceive of a child being fed in public, or even in the living room, then that’s on them.
Some viewers seemed to agree with Kobe that Koban was "too old" to be nursing, but that is one of those things that’s just factually incorrect.
There are of course instances of child-led weaning that take place at younger ages, but Koban is 17 months old.
Almost every health organization on the planet, including the government of Kobe’s native Cameroon, urges breastfeeding until age 2 if not longer.
Fans have accused Emily of being "bossy" before, though some of these incidents were sort of necessary.
When someone is learning to change a diaper for the first time, instructions are often necessary to help them do it right.
I changed my first diaper when I was six or seven years old, but I’d want guidance on changing a specific brand on a specific child, for the child’s comfort.
Emily also closely supervised Kobe as he put Koban into the car seat.
Slight errors in putting a baby or a toddler into a car seat can result in discomfort.
Other mistakes can be fatal. You can’t leave stuff like that up to chance for politeness’ sake.
When it comes to child’s safety, things like good intentions (or even culture) have to take a back seat.
So when Emily came in just in time to see Kobe about to give their 17-month-old whole peanuts, it was not a moment too soon.
Whole or parts of peanuts are not advised for children under age four, because they are a choking hazard.
Emily was strongly condemned over every one of those incidents, and more.
The harsh truth is that some of the condemnation was purely misogyny, part of it was production and editing baiting vocal misogynists among viewers.
90 Day Fiance knows its audience all too well, and extreme backlash against (mostly women) cast members has helped the show’s ratings and brand.
On Episode 8, out of a desire to help out so vague that it feels like production just wanted them to do something interesting, Kobe went out to the stables.
Accompanied by Emily and Emily’s mother, Lisa, his goal was to help with a chore in the stables.
Emily was already eager to spend time with her fiance after this … unfortunately, too eager.
In her excitement, Emily got downright pushy with Kobe.
She tried to micromanage how he did the chore, right down to advising him on how much horse manure to put on his shovel.
Some folks would love to be told exactly how to do something, but many of us would not. Kobe would not.
It is clear that, in Emily’s mind, she was "helping" her fiance to get the job done faster.
But she came across as bossy, and only grew bossier when Kobe did not immediately take her advice.
The two sort of spiraled, each growing more annoyed with the other without ever communicating why.
Tempers flared, which is when Kobe said something that, for many (hopefully most) relationships, would be a deal-breaker.
"Can you just shut the f–k up?" Kobe asked Emily.
Emily had been rude, but this was an escalation. It’s not an acceptable way to speak to a friend, let alone your fiancee and the mother of your child.
It was not lost on a visibly stunned Emily that Kobe had also said this in front of her mother.
Before going inside, she told the cameras that she had never seen this side of him.
Emily worried that this could happen again. Unfortunately, she did not seem to recognize her escalating rudeness before Kobe.
Kobe very clearly did not, in turn, understand how far over the line he had crossed by telling his fiancee to STFU.
In the stables, he speculated — to Emily’s mom — that perhaps cultural gender roles were to blame, that this was an "American thing."
Lisa gently countered that this was more of a "person" thing, noting that her own husband would never, under any circumstances, speak to her that way.
Inside, Kobe and Emily clashed again, offering each other halfhearted apologies.
Emily simply said that she was sorry for "talking" to Kobe, which was not sincere and frankly showed that she had no idea how hostile she had been.
And Kobe still didn’t seem to fully grasp how hurtful his words had been.
Neither Emily nor Kobe have shown themselves to be real competition for this season’s biggest villain.
Bilal and Mohamed seem to be the strongest contenders for that so far.
But Emily is certainly among the most hated, which is pretty par for the course in terms of what the 90 Day Fiance audience’s most vocal members do and do not like.
Emily clearly has the potential to emerge as a season villain, but "she’s bossy while he’s doing chores" isn’t really enough for that.
If she keeps this up, or escalates, she could end up being a bad guy — albeit not the Lifetime movie plotline that Bilal is putting Shaeeda through.
But if we’re being honest, so far, Emily’s been in the right in most of her conflicts with Kobe. He seems like a decent guy, but that doesn’t mean that he’s right.