A woman who took part in Channel 4’s First Dates has sparked backlash by saying that she believes she was born into the wrong race.
Ruth, a 27-year-old accountant and Notting Hill Carnival dancer, stated that she identifies more with black culture, despite being white.
“I relate more to black culture than I do to my own culture,” she said on the programme on Thursday night.
“I think I’ve got ‘born in the wrong race syndrome’ where I am white but I feel more black inside probably.”
While waiting for her date Michael at the bar, Ruth had told bartender Merlin Griffiths that she loves twerking, even demonstrating for restaurant maître d' Fred Sirieix.
She also confessed that she’s “normally into black guys”, although in her opinion “there’s a bit of a lack in Scotland.”
Many First Dates viewers expressed their disbelief on Twitter in regard to Ruth’s contentious declaration about her race.
“#FirstDates she just said that she was born into the wrong race and that’s she’s more of a black girl,” one person wrote.
“Does she know how problematic that statement is?”
Radio presenter Clara Amfo also conveyed her opposition to Ruth’s sentiments and her inclusion on the show.
“What in the Dolezal??” she wrote. “I love this show but some of the things that get through the edit sometimes blow my mind… #firstdates.”
“I do think there’s a level of cultural appropriation and I do think there’s a level of white privilege that’s being displayed here and I think we need to be really cautious about that,” Dr Mera Lee-Penehira explained when discussing the issue.
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