Love Island fans brand show ‘racist’ after Leanne Amaning was the final girl to ‘couple up’ – The Sun
LOVE Island has been branded racist by fans and former contestants after black contestant Leanne Amaning was the last person to be picked in Sunday’s opener.
The customer service manager, 22, was the final girl to be picked after she stepped forward for policeman Mike Boateng, 24, who is also black.
The show has historically seen contestants of colour picked last in the show’s first episode where hopefuls “couple up”.
Former islander Sherif Lanre, who didn’t have a single girl step forward for him last year, hit out saying: “I don’t agree with picking someone solely based on race. It’s pretty evident that something must be going on.”
In the last three series of the ITV2 reality show, a black girl was picked last — with Samira Mighty, 22, and Yewanda Biala, 23, not being picked early in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Sherif, 20, said: “When Leanne wasn’t picked there were a couple of things running through my head. Is this the typical reality TV where we’ve seen the black girls get picked last?”
Fans on Twitter were quick to call out the show for racism over the trend continuing.
Aidan O’Connor posted: “Love island is so openly racist it’s mad. Called that straight away, it’s the same every year. Black people and Asian people just don’t get picked, it’s sad.”
Another fan added they were “tired of the cast being predominantly white girls /guys who all look the same.”
When Sherif was asked if he thought there was a reason for the show’s primarily white line up he added: “I think there is something to do with their criteria.
“Maybe less people of colour tick the boxes that they want for contestants. I don’t know exactly what that entails. It’s pretty evident that something must be going on.
Last year scientist Yewande Biala, 23, wasn’t picked despite stepping forward for Joe Garratt, 22, meaning she had to couple up with Michael Griffiths, 27, by default as they were the last two left.
And Sherif was put onto the subs bench after initial partner Amber Gill, 22, was stolen by another man, leaving him to pick Anna Vakili, 29.
The year before Samira Mighty, 22, wasn’t chosen by any of the boys despite stepping forward for Jack Fincham, 28, and Eyal Booker, 24.
It meant she had to couple up with Alex George, 29, by default, while Wes Nelson, 21, was picked by Laura Anderson, 29.
And in series three in 2017 none of the girls stepped forward for Marcel Somerville, 31, who picked Olivia Attwood, 28.
This year Mike and Leanne are the show’s first black couple — which has been praised on Twitter but Sherif is worried it could be forced.
He said: “I think it can only be a good thing for representation as long as they both want to be in that couple.
“Obviously they are couple up and from what I’ve seen they do kind of have a thing for each other but yeah, if down the line it comes out that Leanne or Mike didn’t actually want to couple up I think it’ll be more devastating than it would be good for them to have been together.”
A Love Island spokeswoman said: “Love Island refutes any suggestion of racism in the strongest possible terms.”
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