The Love Island “racism” allegations are no longer just fan complaints; it’s a matter for the court now. A lawsuit accused the show of conspiring against Black contestants and firing two producers for defending a Black cast member named Sereniti Springs.
Jasmine Crestwell and Alex Rinks, ex-Love Island USA producers, blew the whistle on their former colleagues and employers for manipulating and mistreating the stars. Radar Online obtained documents from Crewstwell and Rinks’ lawsuit against NBCUniversal, ITV Studios, and other producers on the show.
We have been saying Love Island producers are racist for years and everybody was like “no, just all the black girls not being chosen is a coincidence.” I love to be validated but at what cost #loveisland https://t.co/JIJGLKMlU6
— taylor (@filmmakerflying) July 21, 2023
Behind the reality tv show’s neon-colored fun and sexy games, it’s allegedly as toxic as the dating scene IRL. The lawsuit describes multiple instances of sexual harassment, racism, and sexism. Crestwell and Rinks also accused the defendants of whistleblower retaliation and wrongful termination.
The hit U.K.-based show is like musical chairs with a steady stream of new hot singles cycling into a Love Island villa. If an Islander isn’t “coupled up” with another cast member, they’re at risk of going home. In 2019, the franchise came to the U.S. but struggled. By 2022, its new network NBC brought in U.K. producers from the original “to bolster ratings for the U.S. franchise’s fourth season.”
Nasty Work: Lawsuit Claims Love Island Villa Was Allegedly A “Dilapidated Ranch,” With “Inoperable Bathrooms” And Peeping Toms
Of course, producers pull strings to stir up drama, but the lawsuit hints they raised hell and had the Islanders living in it, too. Although viewers see a luxurious “villa,” the suit said it’s “in reality, a ramshackle, dilapidated ranch with inadequate plumbing and inoperable bathrooms.”
“The villa was also unsanitary. Islanders generally were restricted to specific portable toilets connected to their rooms. These toilets were rarely cleaned and often broken and unusable. Showers in the villa’s bathrooms were clogged and overflowing,” according to the complaint.
It sounds like nothing in the bathrooms worked, but the cameras producers allegedly used to spy on female contestants in the shower. Crewtwell and Rinks said they ” openly commented on video feeds of female Islanders showering and having sex, creating a deeply uncomfortable work environment for women on set.
“The entire villa was equipped with cameras and Islanders were filmed 24 hours a day, even while showering, and producers had access to a video feed. While producers were instructed not to watch this footage, certain producers disregarded this instruction and not only watched this intimate footage but discussed it openly on set, including by making disparaging comments about female contestants’ bodies,” the ex-producers claimed.
One of the obvious rules was to let the cast have that slight bit of privacy. but the lawsuit accuses one Producer nudging a female collegue to discuss an Islander’s “boob job” while she was nude. They also allegedly demanded hookups and discussed it on the video feeds.
“Executive producers also pressured female islanders to engage in sexual relationships without regard for their personal preferences or genuine consent,” the complaint continued.
Producers are also accused of “sabotaging” Serenti Springs, one of the few Black women on the show.
See what Crestwell and Rinks claim Love Island producers did to Sereniti Springs after the flip.
Love Island Producers Allegedly Called Black Islander Sereniti Springs “Disgusting” And “Dumb” While “Sabotaging” Her
As beautiful as she is confident in her melanated skin, Sereniti was a force entering the Love Island villa. However, the baddie struggled throughout the season to ever find a serious connection. That’s part of the dating game, but the lawsuit claims producers set her up to fail.
Her fans long assumed that there was more working against her than bad luck in love. Crestwell and Rinks described serious hating behind the scenes, calling Sereniti “dumb,” disgusting,” and a “b*tch.” The lawsuit says Springs struggled because of other producers “repeatedly interrupting or obstructing her ability to forge connections with male cast members, thus sabotaging her chances on the show.”
Sis couldn’t even unpack her bags before something besides love was in the air.
“Ms. Crestwell observed that the UK show’s pattern of mistreatment towards contestants of color continued into Season 4. From the first day of filming, Bush took steps to prevent Islander Sereniti Springs, a Black woman, from making connections with male cast members. Bush instructed all Producers on an internal walkie system, ‘don’t let Sereniti talk to any men,'” the complaint said.
“That night, Bush sent a list of ‘couples’ who had spoken on Day 1 to inform the following day’s production choices: Ms. Springs was the only Islander not on the list,” it continued.
Crestwell and Rinks said they voiced concerns about Springs’ treatment at a meeting on July 25, 2022. They said they were “wrongfully terminated” two days later. Yikes!
The explosive lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.
ITV is a v racist production company bc of the way how they’re trying to paint Whitney I’ve been saying the media pushes certain narratives about certain demographics look at how they capture Molly vs Whitney #LoveIsland
— love island hater (@greetingsgayboi) July 20, 2023
Okay these Loveisland producers are definitely racist. This whole thing is being fueled by racism. Zach and Molly in an actual ship didn't get a date for not speaking for days but you're sending 2 girls on a date because they don't agree on something? Rubbish
— Jessica (@jeseeker1) July 21, 2023
Exactly!! Ty, Montel & ESPECIALLY SAMMY WHO STARTED IT ALL WITH HIS RACIST “PHYSICAL ATTRACTION” COMMENT should have all been voted out first!
Prod manipulated TF outta Cat: her Casa mindflip is INSANE!She came back still buddies w/her bullies & vilified loyal Scott #loveisland https://t.co/TlL7Mksorc pic.twitter.com/OS9maIoVaV
— Bettina (@BettinaProphete) July 13, 2023
It's clear love island producers don't want these two in the final. They want racist mitch snd Sammy and producer plant molly in the finals.
Vote for Whitney and scott. Use two different numbers.
VOTE TACTICALLY. #LoveIsland pic.twitter.com/8VMzPzfhyz
— Hani (@NeverHanaAli) July 21, 2023
Fans are debating about allegedly racist producers and social media backlash in the current U.K. season as well. Like the court filing, several diehard fans called out a pattern across seasons and even countries.
What do you think about Love Island and its Black Islanders?
Bad & Boujee: Our Hollywood Faves Dripped Decadently For The Academy Museum Gala
Balenci Bardi: Cardi B Makes Her Debut On The Catwalk For Balenciaga Fall '24 Show
Destiny's Child Reunites & Celebs 'Alien Superstar' Slay At Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' Film World Premiere
So Stunning: Keke Palmer, Janelle Monáe, Tamar Braxton, Coco Jones, & More Attend 2023 BET Soul Train Awards
Fashion Icon Honoree Serena Williams Takes Center Stage At The 2023 CFDA Awards
'Fashion Killa' Writer Sowmya Krishnamurthy Talks Lil Kim's Style Influence And The KanYe Interview That Did Not Happen
Who Wins The Jollof Wars? #SavorTheCulture Gets A Taste Of Senegal's OG Recipe From Brooklyn's Café Rue Dix
Front Row It Girls Teyana Taylor, Karrueche And Coco Jones Support Phillip Lim's Return To The Runway