Sherif Lanre's Love Island exit stinks of ITV's double standards

It took only nine days for Sherif Lanre to ‘break the rules’ and find himself dumped from this series of Love Island for reasons we’re yet to find out.

But in the same amount of time, his fellow islanders Tommy Fury and Anton Danyluk, were exposed for past homophobic and blackface scandals.

Both incidents seem to have been brushed under the carpet by ITV and it’s left us wondering why one so-called ‘silly mistake’ is more punishable than racism and hateful language.

Especially when Sherif’s mysterious rule-breaking was deemed not serious enough to involve the police, according to The Mirror.

Addressing Tommy and Anton’s respective controversies, a Love Island spokesperson told Metro.co.uk in a statement: ‘We do not tolerate any offensive language in the villa 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.’

But no mention of what Tommy and Anton have previously said and done.

The double-standard couldn’t be more glaringly obvious and marks only another chip in Love Island’s increasingly tarnished reputation – particularly when it comes to the poor treatment of the show’s black contestants over the past few years.

Many believe Sherif’s race played a part in his departure from the island, however ‘mutual’ that decision was claimed to be.

And that notion is hardly a stretch when Anton and Tommy are not only sitting comfortably in the villa still, but are also touted as favourite islanders, given ample screen time and often presented as the lead stories.

Basically, the golden boys and when you’re the brother of a famous boxer, that probably helps too.

Questioning the disparity in punishment between the various offences from this year’s Love Islanders, one viewer tweeted: ‘So Sherif’s been kicked out for some mysterious “rule break” but Anton literally did blackface and wasn’t removed immediately?? Ok [sic].’

Another referenced one of the many theories surrounding Sherif’s departure and questioned: ‘So let’s get this straight, #LoveIsland are happy for people to appear in blackface, have sex on screen but cant handle someone allegedly masturbating in a hot tub? If true, they’ve done #sherif dirty and really showing they can’t handle showing more than one black person at a time [sic].’

Tommy, younger brother of boxer Tyson Fury, found himself at the centre of a homophobia row after a resurfaced tweet from 2014 featured the 20-year-old using a gay slur against another boxer.

In particular, the f-word.

Just a few days before, a photo also from 2014 emerged of Anton, 24, dressed up as The A-Team’s Mr T and sporting black face paint for a Halloween party.

Both are what you’d call ‘historic’ and Tommy and Anton were, of course, younger but the incidences aren’t so far off that they can be excused for being ‘in a different time’ and not as ‘woke’ as society is now.

FYI, racism was still unacceptable in 2014 and homophobia certainly wasn’t OK back then either.

It’s so important that Tommy and Anton be held to account for their actions.

Doing so would send a clear message about ITV’s stance on serious, offensive behaviour and that they have no tolerance of it regardless of popularity.

Perhaps then, Love Island would earn back some of the credibility they are fast losing.

The dismissal of Tommy and Anton’s behaviour is even more disappointing because there was so much promise for Sherif.

During his nine days on the show, he’d not offended anyone and mostly spent his time chasing Anna Vakili whom he was coupled up with – as well as teaching Tommy how to make peppermint tea in one of this series’ most light-hearted moments so far.

It was all pretty harmless and while we are yet to find out what he did to warrant getting booted off the show, he had better stakes of going further on Love Island than Anton, who still hasn’t found a romantic connection with any of the female contestants.

Anton may be ‘everyone’s friend’ in the villa but the purpose of Love Island is to find, well, love, not BFFs.

This year’s Love Island has more black and mixed race contestants than any previous series – currently we have Yewande Biala, Michael Griffiths, Amber Gill and newbie Danny Williams. Sherif made that five.

For a moment, you might even think that Love Island have made true on their promise for more diversity this year after immense criticism for repeatedly casting cardboard cut-outs of past contestants.

But it doesn’t look too great that one black boy – and the darkest in complexion – has been punished for a ‘silly’ mistake’ not worthy of police attention, over two white men whose past behaviour is possibly worse than whatever Sherif is said to have done.

The 20-year-old chef has admittedly let himself down and so he should be held to account for his actions.

But it’s disheartening that Love Island would seemingly choose their popular golden boys, who happen to be white, over morality.

ITV are yet to properly address Tommy and Anton’s behaviour from before he went into the Love Island villa and, while that now seems unlikely based on how much time has passed, we’re happy to wait.

Got a showbiz story?

If you’ve got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

Source: Read Full Article