'Candid' race conversations were reportedly cut from Love Island

"Why was I brought in here? Who was I supposed to be? Or was I just somebody's space to fill? I did feel like that at times."

(Image credit: ITV)

"Why was I brought in here? Who was I supposed to be? Or was I just somebody's space to fill? I did feel like that at times."

Sharon Gaffka, a former contestant on this year's Love Island, has told Insider that 'candid' conversations about race were cut from the show.

Speaking to the publication, she voiced that she feels these conversations would be more powerful and useful for viewers than what the producers decided to air instead.

She said: "I do remember one part of the show that never got aired was Kaz and I sat on swings with some of the lads and explained how hard it is to date in modern dating and using dating sites as an ethnic minority woman. Kaz and I come from those ethnicities that are very hypersexualised in modern dating," the 25-year-old shared.

"Actually [airing the discussion] would have done a lot of good because I feel like a lot of women who are from different races do have the same problems," she continued. "For me especially I was wondering, 'Am I singled out in this? Am I alone in this? Has anyone else experienced the same thing as me or am I being targeted?'"

She also voiced her opinion that aside from that instance, there were 'a lot of candid conversations' about race that the producers chose to omit from the final edits.

Gaffka was voted off the show early on as she didn't form a romantic connection with anyone in the villa. However, she's voiced that she doesn't think this was entirely her fault, telling Insider that she 'struggled' to find a partner due to the 'lack of diversity.'

She explained that growing up, 'blonde girls were more preferential in terms of boy's taste' in her friendship group, and added that the villa's dynamic was similar to this as the majority of the other female contestants were blonde.

"The producers are meant to match people. With Hugo [Hammond], his type is blonde and there were lots of blonde girls in the villa but whose type was I?" she shared. "Why was I brought in here? Who was I supposed to be? Or was I just somebody's space to fill? I did feel like that at times."

Gaffka continued, "It was a struggle at times and I think it made my time in the villa a lot harder to form an actual connection with somebody."

Why the producers would choose not to air the clips is unknown, but what is known is that Love Island producers film contestants for 24 hours of the day and then edit it down to a 60-minute long clip, which airs on ITV most nights.

This isn't the first time Love Island has been criticised - this year alone, they've come under fire for lack of both racial and body diversity. In the past, they've been pulled into the spotlight for not adequately supporting contestants after the show, leading to several contestants - Sophie Gradon in 2018 and Mike Thalassitis in 2019 - and the former host, Caroline Flack, taking their own lives.

ITV are yet to comment on the matter.

Ally Head
Senior Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Senior Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, nine-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She's won a BSME for her sustainability work, regularly hosts panels and presents for events like the Sustainability Awards, and is a stickler for a strong stat, too, seeing over nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.