The season premiere of Love Island USA season two was drama filled in more ways than one.
Former Ohio State football player Tre Forte is one of the season's contestants, but his controversial tweets have fans calling for his eviction.
Tre's tweets are also indicative of a larger problem with the type of contestants that are showcased on reality TV.
The season premiere of season two of Love Island USA aired last night, and while the location was different—this season is filming in Las Vegas instead of Fiji due to the coronavirus pandemic—the drama is all the same. We start with ten singles looking for love, and Islanders will enter and exit the show as re-couplings and evictions happen throughout the season.
But even though it's still early in the season, fans are already calling for the eviction of contestant and former Ohio State athlete Tre Forte after some distasteful and anti-Black posts from his Twitter account were discovered, including one where he tried to justify police killings of Black people by bringing up "black on black crime."
— A. St. Patrick (@rosegoldacacia) August 25, 2020
I want my future kids to be mixed w something else
— Tre Forte (@TgiForte) June 12, 2014
But once again Yal only making a big deal about it because another race killed him. Where is all this hatred when blacks kill other blacks?
— Tre Forte (@TgiForte) November 25, 2014
In addition to these tweets, Love Island fans generally dislike Tre's cocky attitude on the show, and many want to see him gone.
— Dubem Osuala (@DubemOsuala) August 25, 2020
not tre from love island usa being a racist/colorist.... pic.twitter.com/IsfcRlhUgG
— reagan (@reygainn) August 25, 2020
Tre from love island needs to go NOW So disrespectful. #Loveislandusa
— 😝 (@thechikwhotalks) August 25, 2020
— 𝕸𝖆𝖗𝖞 𝕮𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖗𝖞 🍒 (@bbyjaida_) August 25, 2020
It's now my life mission to ensure that Tre doesn't last on this show. How r u gonna bash your own kind??? Like whoever you like but don't be out here hating on someone because of their race, especially your own #LoveIslandUSA #LoveIsland pic.twitter.com/bP9kbheOZF
— Shalom 🇿🇼 (@Shalom_Mhlanga) August 25, 2020
Fans' issue with Tre is also indicative of a larger problem within the world of dating shows, as casting for these shows often leaves a lot to be desired. The casts are almost always majority white, the Black contestants often do not interact or couple up with each other, and the one Black woman in the cast is often left out.
So far on this season, fans have seen Justine Ndiba in tears after none of the guys coupled up with her, and when she and Jeremiah White did couple up, it was more of a friendly pairing to save themselves from a possible eviction. The show's viewers do not feel comfortable with Justine's exclusion, and they're calling on Love Island's execs to do better going forward.
"Baby this Love Island casting. Do better. One Black woman, and three Black men who don’t like Black women," one user Tweeted, while another said that they were "genuinely sick of the tired reality tv trope of the lone dark-skinned black woman or woman of colour getting no visible love but she isn’t actually allowed to talk openly about the racial biases behind this and production does nothing to acknowledge or fix this."
Fans have also critiqued the casting choices made on reality dating shows like The Bachelor, and earlier this year the show's former casting producer Jazzy Collins spoke out about the micro-aggressions she endured while being the only Black person in the casting office, as well as her struggle to hire a more inclusive cast.
We'll have to wait and see what happens with Tre on Love Island, but going forward, casting directors should be more intentional about the people they pick to be on their shows—and sexism, racism, colorism, and homophobia should not be part of the equation.
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