Love Island’s Samira Mighty says ‘token’ black women are rejected by men on ‘shallow’ show

‘It’s obvious what is happening. She is the only black girl, and has had little interest from the men, who seem to like blonde white girls with big boobs – or any screen time as a result’

Olivia Petter
Sunday 09 June 2019 15:47
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Love Island 2019: The girls talk to Caroline about love

Samira Mighty has criticised Love Island as “so shallow”, explaining how she was “obviously the token [black woman]” when she was cast in last year’s series.

The 23-year-old said that despite ITV2’s efforts to champion diversity, the popular dating programme keeps missing the mark.

“Yewande [Biala] is a token too,” Mighty told The Mail on Sunday, in reference to one of this year’s contestants.

“It’s obvious what is happening. She is the only black girl, and has had little interest from the men, who seem to like blonde white girls with big boobs – or any screen time as a result.”

Mighty pointed out that in the first episode of this year’s show, which aired on Monday 3 June, none of the men initially expressed an interest in “coupling up” with Biala.

When Mighty was on the programme last year, the same thing happened to her.

“When none of the black contestants were chosen last week, I thought ‘How on Earth is this happening again?’ I really thought someone might step forward for Yewande, to stop this happening after the backlash with me,” she said.

Mighty went on to accuse ITV2 of failing to include “someone in the line-up who likes black girls” but said the issue cannot be blamed on race alone, adding that Biala “needs to have some screen time so we can see what she is”.

An ITV spokesperson told the MoS: “We celebrate diversity of every sort and this year’s Love Islanders come from a diverse range of backgrounds with a mix of personalities.”

The musical theatre actor went on to praise the show’s aftercare, which has been under scrutiny in recent months following the death of former contestant, Mike Thalassitis, who took his own life earlier this year.

Mighty revealed that she struggled with depression after her partner on the show, Frankie Foster, cheated on her.

“I found it very difficult,” she recalled, describing the experience as “humiliating”.

But after speaking to the show’s producers, she was quickly given counselling.

“It is a shame others don’t feel they can come forward,” Mighty added.

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