Love Island Race Row: Blackface Is Not acceptable and It Never Was.

Love Island has been a much-loved dating programme in the UK for the past few years however it’s has had a fair share of controversies. ITV bosses have come under fire for not having a diverse cast, promoting unrealistic body stands and not enough support to for former islanders once they’re out of the lavish villa based in Mallorca.

Days before the launch of the much-loved dating show, a picture of one of the contestants blacked-up in fancy dress as A-Team character, Mr T, surfaced.

Anton Danyluk from Airdrie, Scotland posed alongside his friends in the problematic outfit – assuming he was not trying to cause offence – but his picture shows the level of ignorance when it comes to race globally.

TV shows such as Love Island emphasise the issues around race in British society as many struggle to understand racism, especially from an ethnic minorities perspective.

The picture (above), in this case, can be seen as just ‘fun and games’ due to it being a costume but at who’s expense? Blackface is a topic which many black people have been speaking out about for decades. The complexity of the issue and the way in which it demonises and plays into racist stereotypes is not a new idea.

However, people in society are still convinced blackface is not a real thing and those offended are just pulling the race card despite the origin of the caricature. While it may have been acceptable 200 years ago for white actors to ‘black-up’ and promote harmful stereotypes, it was never okay.

The issue with ITV keeping someone on the show who ‘blacked up’ goes to show they are willing to ignore problematic characters behaviour as long as they can make money from them and do not care about the crowd they are neglecting.

Despite the broadcasters vow to be more diverse this year, this goes against that promise and is clear indicated they do not care.

Mellissa Dzinzi
Mellissa Dzinzi was born in Zimbabwe but raised in Leeds. She is a reporter who has written for the national papers as well as having broadcast experience. Her interests range from lifestyle and beauty to gender relations and culture.

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