The network of the 8th season of the TV series “Love Island” in the UK responded to the accusations of racist editing by viewers. ITV has been home to the British dating show since its debut in 2015. After the premiere of the last season took place on June 6, ITV reported that the eighth season of “Love Island” received the highest ratings in recent years. But from the less joyful news, it should be noted that the first exceptions caused a serious negative reaction.
Although the first participant to leave the villa was Liam, he chose it for personal reasons. At the first reunion ceremony, Afia Tonkmore was the only woman not selected, which made her the first correct elimination. Remi Lambert suffered the same fate in the second reunion. The same episode that forced Remy to get together ended with the announcement that viewers would be able to vote for their favorite boy and girl. On Tuesday, June 21, it turned out that the participants who received the least number of votes were the original stars Amber Beckford and Ikenna Ekvonna, and both went home. The first four eliminated contestants, all of whom were black, were disliked by many viewers, who cited editing as the reason. Now ITV has seen these complaints and has given a response.
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ITV’s response was reported by The Sun UK on Wednesday, June 22. This happened after Twitter users wrote that they were not surprised by the elimination of Amber and Ikenna. According to them, the black participants had the least amount of screen time, so it’s not surprising that they received the least number of votes. In response, a representative of the network said: “We will take very seriously any suggestion that any editorial decisions are made on the basis of race, and we will refute this in the strongest possible way.” Sometimes, due to the fact that it is a 60-minute program, it is impossible to show everything that happens in the villa, due to lack of time.” But lack of time wasn’t the only reason viewers tweeted about the racist editing. Others claimed that the screen time of Ikenna and Amber did not flatter them. Amber, in particular, often rolled her eyes or complained.
Time-limited protection is not likely to satisfy critics. Gemma Owen, the 19-year-old daughter of the famous football player Michael, received so much attention in the first week that fans joked that it was “Gemma’s Island”. Even when the focus shifted, Gemma and her partner Luca Bish were still actively involved. Meanwhile, Ikenna and Dami Hope received the most screen time in episodes of “Invisible Bits”. Even the curator of the Icon on social networks commented on the sharp difference. These videos, which are broadcast on Saturdays, are watched by fewer people than the releases from Sunday to Friday.
It turned out that Ikenna’s partner India Polak and partner Amber Dami had feelings for each other shortly before the elimination. Many expressed disappointment that this situation did not get airtime earlier, as it could affect the results. Others hoped that, although it was too late for their former partners, India and Dami would be shown more because of the drama. And Remy got very little screen time compared to Jay Younger, with whom he enrolled. Later, the rapper said that he was interested in Danica, but did not have time. The dancer had to be chosen very soon after her arrival. It is more than likely that the perception in the series influenced the fact that Dancia stole Luca from Gemma, and Remy left.
In recent years, more diverse participants have gradually appeared in the dating series. Although it was a step forward, it is only the beginning. The network’s response shows that they are paying attention. Now the fans hope that they will listen, learn and make the necessary changes.