Former Love Island contestant Sherif Lanre has hit out to accuse the show of double standards following a backlash over 2021 contestant Danny Bibby and his use of the n-word on social media.
But soon after his inclusion in the show was announced, Love Island fans discovered he had used the n-word in a number of historic social media posts – sparking an online backlash with demands for him to be removed from the series.
Danny himself has been allowed to release a statement to apologise for his past use of language and to insist he is “not racist” in a rare instance of ITV allowing a contestant to comment on events outside the villa while competing on the show.
Now Sherif – who was removed form Love Island after being on the show for nine days in 2019 due to an incident where he used the c-word – has slammed the series for demonstrating what he considers “double standards”.
The 22-year-old Londoner says Love Island is failing to deal with racism seriously – at a time when the UK is united in condemning examples of racism, following abuse sent to England football team players following the 2020 Euro Cup final last weekend.
Sherif told The Sun on Sunday: “ITV have shown complete double standards when it comes to racism. They don’t seem to care.
“A white guy has been allowed to apologise from inside the villa for using the N word and carry on filming, whereas I was removed for play fighting and doing something by accident.
“The N word shouldn’t be used and this contestant should be removed from the house like I was, especially after the England football team were racially abused this week. ITV need to set an example.”
He added: “I think Love Island have milked this racism scandal to gain more exposure as people aren’t watching this series.”
Sherif was removed from Love Island in 2019 after he accidentally kicked Molly-Mae Hague in the groin and joked he had given her a “c*** punt”.
At the time his removal, Sherif said in a statement: “In a case of poor judgement, I broke the villa rules and as a result agreed with the producers that it was best for me to leave the villa.”
Fans were unimpressed by the producer decision to remove Sherif at the time – with some pointing out he had used the c-word jokingly and that he had not injured Molly-Mae, while also pointing out that past contestants had used the c-word in arguments with the clear intention of weaponising the word to cause offence.
One Friday, Danny was permitted to share an apology for his use of the n-word amid a growing social media backlash.
He said in a statement released by ITV: "I'd like to take the time to apologise to anyone that may have taken offence to my inappropriate remark.
“I never meant anything malicious by this comment at all. I am not a racist person and it's unacceptable language and ignorant.
“I meant no offence and feel like I have really learnt from my mistakes and will never use that word again. I am a kind loving person and hopefully you get to see that in the show."
Love Island continues on ITV2 and via the ITV Hub tonight at 9pm