Love Island bosses respond to claims of racism from Sherif Lanre


Love Island bosses have refuted allegations of racism from former Islander Sherif Lanre.

It was announced at the start of last week that Sherif had left the show after just nine days.

ITV said in a statement that Sherif had “mutually agreed” with producers to withdraw from the show after “breaking the villa rules”.

Appearing on BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show today, Sherif accused Love Island bosses of ‘unconscious racial bias’.

He said: “I’m not going to point fingers… but the airtime [black people received] was disproportionate to our value in the villa.

“Statistically we get less air time. I know [the producers] have a duty to edit and give the viewers what they want. But I think the race thing is more to do with the people in charge finding people who want to be with people of colour.”

In another interview with The Sun, Sherif claimed that another Islander repeatedly used the N-word while singing and wasn’t warned about it.

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

ITV said in response (via the Daily Mail): “Sherif fully accepted and agreed that he broke the rules and that he should leave. We have a duty of care towards all of the Islanders and as such we would not make public the details of the breach of code.

“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. All of the Islanders are treated fairly and in accordance with our duty of care. We would like this to be made abundantly clear.”

They added of Sherif’s claims over the use of the N-word by another Islander: “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.”

Love Island continues nightly on ITV2.