Sherif Lanre: 'Love Island' bias against men and people of colour

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Sharif Lanre has left 'Love Island' after breaking the rules (Credit: ITV)

Love Island’s Sherif Lanre has claimed the show is bias against men and people of colour.

The 20-year-old chef told BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire he had been subjected to repeated “slaps on the bum” by female contestants but he believes producers would not have allowed men to behave in the same way to a woman.

Lanre said: “I think there is an unconscious bias. I feel that the people in charge of the show have an unconscious bias for boys and girls and different races.

“I feel there is a lot less of a rope for men. You can get pulled up on things easier.

“For example my bum was slapped a few times, but if that was a boy doing that to a girl in the villa it might have been seen a different way.

Even if it was okay with the girl, if someone did that, the people in charge of the show may have had a problem with it.”

Read more: Sherif Lanre explains why he was booted off Love Island and accuses ITV of ‘unconscious racism’

The semi-professional chef was removed from the ITV reality show last week for saying “that was a c*** punt”, after he accidentally kicked Molly-Mae Hague between the legs.

Last year contestant Ellie Brown called Islander Georgia Steel an “ugly c***”, but was not reprimanded.

Lanre also accused the show’s producers of a racial bias.

He told Derbyshire: “There’s 24 hours a day recorded and only one hour shown each night, but air time for contestants of my race was very disproportionate to what we did in the villa.”

The 'Love Island' 2019 contestants (Credit: ITV)

Lanre went on: “Statistically yeah they [black contestants] get less airtime.

“I think the race thing is more to do with the people in charge finding people who actually want to be with people of colour. They do ask you a lot about what your type is.”

Lanre also said he hoped to catch up with Anna Vikili, who he was coupled up with before leaving the show, to explain why he left.

He said: “I definitely feel bad about the way in which my removal of the villa was handled. I didn’t get to say goodbye to anyone and that left everyone a bit confused.

“It was not fair on Anna. I want to catch up with her and have a chat. I hope she feels the same.”

ITV said: “We take any instance of inappropriate behaviour very seriously and we speak to all of the islanders to remind them of what we condone to be acceptable behaviour during their time on the show.

“We would strongly refute any accusation of racism and we are unaware of any other Islanders using racist language. All of the Islanders are treated fairly and in accordance with our duty of care. We would like this to be made abundantly clear.”

Lanre has also claimed another contestant used the N-word repeatedly, without consequence.

He told The Sun: “There was one guy, who I will not name, who repeatedly used the N word as he rapped in front of me.

“He said it two or three times and he was not pulled aside even though the code forbids racist language.

“The same rules did not seem to apply to the other contestants.”

Read more: Love Island: What rule did Sherif Lanre break to get axed from the show?

It is reported the Islander was singing Drake song Over My Dead Body, which features the offensive word several times.

ITV have said they have not found any evidence of the N-word being used in the video footage recorded for the show.

A spokesman said: “We monitor the islanders 24/7 and we have no recording of the use of this offensive language.

“And, at no point, does anyone use that offensive language in rap lyrics or any other time. We do have clear rules on the use of language in the villa.”

In 2007 19-year-old student Emily Parr was removed from the Big Brother house after using the N-word directed towards fellow housemate Charley Uchea.