‘Love is Blind’ sparks debate over if Zanab or Cole is the true villain over ‘The Cuties Story’

The experimental dating show Love is Blind is a runaway hit for Netflix, and the latest season is no exception. A lot of the drama has centered around couple Zanab Jaffrey and Cole Barnett, and the instantly infamous “cuties story.” Now fans are debating who’s in the right and wrong.

If you don’t watch the show, something like the “cuties story” could be a little confusing. To clear it up, the story involves mandarins. Yup, the little tiny citrus fruits. During the reunion show, which premiered on Nov. 9, more information was revealed about the incident.

Let’s back up a little for context. Zanab and Cole fell in love easily in the pods, but things got fairly testy when they tried to continue their romance in the real world. Fans have been commenting on how Cole keeps bringing up Zanab’s appearance, and that he flirted with Colleen Reed at a pool party.

At the reunion, show hosts Nick and Vanessa Lachey addressed the situation, and Zanab elaborated. One of the main issues of contention involved the idea that Cole was controlling what Zanab ate.

Zanab claimed Cole shamed her for for eating two cuties. Cole denied this. Zanab said the scene was cut out of the show. Here are her comments, courtesy of Cheatsheet.

“The Cuties story that didn’t make the cut was one day, it was 2 p.m., and we were still filming. I hadn’t had a chance to eat so I grabbed two Cuties. He looked at me and said, ‘Are you gonna eat both of those?’ I said, ‘Well, yeah, that’s a serving.’ And he said, ‘Well, we’re going out to eat later so maybe you should save your appetite.’”

Cole then asked if someone had the clip to please air it. Producers actually then aired the clip in a post credits scene. In the scene, Cole and Zanab are talking about meeting family members, and Zanab starts peeling cuties.

He asks if she’s going to eat two of them and she says “Maybe. That’s a serving. Are you ok with that?” He answered that she should save her appetite because “we’re going to have a” big dinner.

Zanab replies that she “only had a banana and a scoop of peanut butter today.” Cole looks shocked and asks “You’ve only had a banana today? Why? I offered you a poke bowl.”

This is what made fans start to change their opinion about how Cole treated Zanab. The scene showed he was more concerned about Zanab getting enough nutrients than controlling what she ate.

One fan on reddit said it showed Cole in a brand new light.

“I’m glad they showed this clip. I take back everything I’ve said negatively about him. I feel like we weren’t getting the whole story. Was there a decision to make the guy look bad throughout the show by the production team? If this scene is indicative of her other “body shaming” experiences with him, his reaction to her at the wedding and to her allegations during the reunion makes sense: the guy was blindsided.”

Someone else on Instagram said they were happy that Zanab was wrong. “So glad Netflix exposed Zanab for lying about the entire cuties situation. I don’t think Netflix would have added the clip in if they knew you were emotionally abusive like she was describing.”

Not everyone agreed. One user said it was obvious that the comment made Zanab uncomfortable.

“Dude you could literally tell by her body language that she was being insecure about her eating. Honestly it’s clear she’s still pissed about Cole’s comments about liking Colleen, who she ~knows is slimmer than her, and is projecting it onto him. So obvious.”

Another person said it was just as obvious that Zanab wasn’t that interested in Cole.

“Also, during that entire conversation he was trying to meet her family and plan something for her and she seemed so uninterested and then admitted that she barely listens to him and it felt sad.”

Regardless, the narrative shifted a bit with more people realizing Cole was perceived in a bad way. However, a couple people pointed out it was also fairly clear that the two were incompatible.

“Cole is immature but Zanab is a manipulator and quite frankly malicious,” one redditor said.

Another said they simply couldn’t communicate.

“Classic case of total miscommunication with both of them, I think they honestly loved each other but were so incompatible to the point of it being almost impossible for them to work out. A lot of things between them could have been avoided with better communication, I honestly feel bad for both of them and it was very hard to watch.”

Love is Blind season 3 and the reunion episode are streaming now on Netflix.