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‘Love Island’ contestant Sharon Gaffka says ‘candid’ conversations about race were cut from show

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  • “Love Island” star Sharon Gaffka told Insider that “candid” conversations about race weren’t aired.
  • She said that these conversations would have been useful for women of color who watch the show.
  • “Love Island” has previously come under fire for demonstrating a lack of diversity in its cast.

Sharon Gaffka, a contestant from this year’s “Love Island UK,” told Insider that there were “a lot of candid” conversations about race in the villa between contestants that were never aired on the series.

For several years, fans of “Love Island” have complained about the lack of body and race diversity on the hit UK dating show that places singles in a villa for a period of time in hopes that they eventually fall into relationships.

Although “Love Island” is filmed with cameras rolling every minute with only one hour shown to audiences every night, Gaffka told Insider that an important conversation with the male contestants about dating as a mixed-race woman was never aired before she was sent home after the first three weeks.

“I do remember one part of the show that never got aired was Kaz and I sat on swings with some of the lads and explained how hard it is to date in modern dating and using dating apps as an ethnic minority woman. Kaz and I come from those ethnicities that are very hypersexualized in modern dating,” the 25-year-old civil servant said. 

ITV declined to comment on the matter when contacted by Insider.

Love Island Sharon Gaffka

Sharon Gaffka was sent home after three weeks on “Love Island.”

ITV


“Actually it would have done a lot of good [to air the discussion] because I feel like a lot of women who are from different races do have the same problems,” she added. “For me especially I was wondering, ‘Am I singled out in this? Am I alone in this? Has anyone else experienced the same thing as me or am I being targeted?'”

Over the last few years, “Love Island” has sparked national conversations in the UK due to its popularity. For example in 2017, members of The House of Lords, one of the UK’s governing bodies, discussed the impact of the show, particularly how smoking may affect young viewers.

Still, despite multiple occasions where diverse contestants were left single or overlooked on the series coupled with complaints about the lack of diversity in the villa, there has never been an explicit discussion about how race impacts dating on the show. 

Gaffka was sent home after not forming a romantic connection with one of the other contestants, but told Insider that she “struggled” due to the “lack of diversity.”

Contestants on "Love Island"

The first set of contestants for the seventh season of “Love Island”

ITV


The contestant mentioned that where she grew up “blonde girls were more preferential in terms of boy’s taste” and her time on the villa reminded her of that period in her life because the majority of the female contestants were blonde.

“The producers are meant to match people. With Hugo [Hammond], his type is blonde and there were lots of blonde girls in the villa but whose type was I?” she added, referencing the 24-year-old physical education teacher and the series’ first-ever contestant with a disability. “Why was I brought in here? Who was I supposed to be? Or was I just somebody’s space to fill? I did feel like that at times.” 

Gaffka continued, “It was a struggle at times and I think it made my time in the villa a lot harder to form an actual connection with somebody.”

Courtesy By INSIDER

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