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Black contestants get less air time, says Love Islander

BOOTED: Sherif Lanre (Photo credit: ITV)

EX-LOVE Island star Sherif Lanre has called out the TV show following his exit, claiming that black contestants get “statistically less-air time” in the villa.

Lanre, who was removed from the show last week, appeared on Victoria Derbyshire for his first TV interview since his abrupt exit from the show.

He said: “I feel like the air-time which contestants of my race and races similar to mine was very disproportionate to our value in the villa. We did a lot more to keep the villa together and socially than was aired.

“I haven’t kept up with the first few seasons but I do feel, statistically, they [black contestants] do get less air time. That’s down to the people in charge, the producers and whatnot because they want to give the viewers the content they feel they want.”

Lanre opened up about the much talked about reasons surrounding his departure from the villa. Rumours were swirling across social media as to why he had to leave the show - with the most recent reason being that he allegedly used foul language towards contestant Molly-Mae Hague after accidentally kneeling her in the crotch while play fighting.

He suggested that there was an “unconscious bias” which led to him being removed from the house for using the c-word.

The 20-year-old said: “I feel that the people in charge of the show have an unconscious bias round the regulations for boys and girls, and maybe different races.

“But with Ellie [Brown, last year] I didn’t even know about it until I came home. I feel like in that instance it was directed at someone and more malicious intent. Mine was kind of a joke but, in hindsight, it wasn’t acceptable and it’s a vile word.”

ITV released a statement where the broadcaster “strongly refuted” Lanre's claims.

The statement said “Sherif fully accepted and agreed that he broke the rules and he should leave. We have a duty of care to all islanders and as such we wouldn’t make public the details of the breach of the code. We’d strongly refute any accusation of racism and we’re unaware of any other islanders using racist language.

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

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