‘You genuinely have to work twice as hard’: Dami Hope talks racism on Love Island

·3-min read
 (Dave Benett)
(Dave Benett)

Dami Hope has called out racism on ITV’s Love Island, stating that “black guys would have been picked last” in this year’s series if Islanders had the choice to initially pair up in the beginning.

The 26-year-old microbiologist, who finished in third place with girlfriend Indiyah Polack, echoed an institutional sentiment to the MailOnline, saying that black people have to work “twice as hard”.

In a twist for 2022, Love Island producers opened up a public vote for viewers to match up the contestants together before they entered the villa.

This absolved the Islanders from choosing who they were initially attracted to.

Dami and Indiyah on their final date in Love Island 2022. (ITV)
Dami and Indiyah on their final date in Love Island 2022. (ITV)

Hope said: “I’d be real with you – black guys would have been picked last. I don’t give a f*** what anyone says.”

He continued: “When you’re black – whatever is needed for the white man – they get it easily.

“...You genuinely have to work twice as hard. For me, it isn’t that I’ve been doing it all my life, but it’s something that I’ve been aware of.”

He added: “Right now I’m not even thinking about that whole white man gets it more – gets it easier, I’m just doing me. I’m just thinking what does Dami need to do, that’s literally it.

“That whole concept though, I genuinely do get it and it is a true thing – it’s a fact.”

Yewande Biala from 2019 Love Island and Marcel Somerville from the 2017 series. (PA)
Yewande Biala from 2019 Love Island and Marcel Somerville from the 2017 series. (PA)

Fans have also pointed out that ethnic minority contestants are usually chosen last in the coupling process, as former Islander Toby Aromolaran was benched on the side during his year, and Marcel Somerville was picked last in 2017.

Women of colour have had the same streak with Leanne Amaning being picked last in the 2020 winter series, Yewande Biala in 2019, and Samira Mighty and Malin Andersson in 2018 and 2016.

In 2019, Sherif Lanre was also picked last and later went on to be axed suddenly from the villa after an alleged incident where he is said to have accidentally kicked Molly-Mae Hague in the groin and used a vulgar term in front of her.

Sherif Lanre in 2019 Love Island. (ITV)
Sherif Lanre in 2019 Love Island. (ITV)

Lanre previously told The Sun: “I don’t agree with picking someone solely based on race. It’s pretty evident that something must be going on.

“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?”

Marcel Somerville previously rallied for a change to the casting process.

He told The Sun: “The one thing that lets the show down is when they’re doing their casting they don’t take into consideration people’s tastes.

”As a person of ethnic background you do feel “Is it because I’m black?” You do have that go through your head. I’m not different from anyone else, I’m a human, I go to the gym, I have a good body.

“The only difference between you and that person is the colour of your skin.”