Fashionable racism: how long did it take viewers to ‘forget’ how angry they were over Samira’s treatment?

The public tuned in, as always, this summer to watch the villa fill with chiselled abs and pushed up boobs.

Samira Mighty may have been one of the first to enter and last to leave the show but she faced a harder fight than securing romance in the villa.

It became apparent that more than just ‘boy luck’ was affecting why Samira wasn’t pulling ‘on paper’ or on our screens.

Scientific studies in the world of dating has previously proved that black women are less likely to receive ‘matches’ on a dating app.

Not only this but ITV weren’t airing any positive clips of her journey, only painting her to be a bitchy side-kick of Megan’s full of eye rolls and a seemingly boring relationship with fellow islander Frankie.

Image courtesy of: Daily Star.

Her character was repeatedly attacked on Twitter even though she did nothing hideously wrong. It seems she became ‘villan-ised’ by the public and eager public.

Instead of the show jumping at the chance to show the blossoming relationship between her and Frankie after over a month of difficulties, as they did tirelessly with Alex, they still chose not to give her air time. Though other women who had men falling at their feet got airtime with each possible suitor.

Following her departure it came to light that it was more than just flirting we were missing, but a night in the hideaway had also been edited out as if non-existent.

But, the viewers didn’t miss a single second of Alex’s journey which (if you squint) did mirror Samira’s for a notable amount of time.

love island samira

The public were shone a loveless Samira who repeatedly acted as a shoulder to cry on for other contestants, she was also a reliable source of light humour. This image is all too familiar with the stereotypical depiction of black women in both TV and film as a ‘reliable friend’ to their white friends. Love Island seemed to run with this stereotype.

Though we did see Wes and Josh’s moments in the hideaways, so is racism the correct term for what happened to Samira? No, the correct term is misogynoir, the combined prejudice of sexism and racism that affects and harms black women.

It seems fair to argue that Love Island may have cut Samira’s air time as she didn’t fit their ideal profile of a villa winner. In 2018 did we really have profiles anymore? The public saw the tears of the villa once Samira left, there wasn’t a dry eye in sight.

If the public feel they missed out on viewing an individual, just think of how Samira missed out on fair treatment. This is all too familiar and has been forgotten all too fast.


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