On March 13, “Love Island” viewers witnessed history when Maya Jama, the show’s new host, announced that Kai Fagan and Sanam Harrinanan had won the winter 2023 season. The happy couple is not only the first Casa Amor couple to win “Love Island,” they are also the first couple of color to win the competition in the eight-year history of the program. Quick to respond, viewers tweeted that the event was a “breath of fresh air” and showed that POC could win the competition.
This is a big victory because the ITV2 series’ portrayal of Black Islanders has long left fans of the show unimpressed. Black people have been criticized for the reality show’s lack of appreciation.
Black Islanders have been criticized for not receiving the same amount of airtime as other islanders and for the reality show’s use of Black women as stand-ins while white bombshells enter the villa.
You might be surprised to learn that despite the show’s 2015 debut, a Black woman didn’t even enter the villa until 2018. First Black Islander Samira Mighty, who supports Kai and Sanam, claims that their victory on the show is also a victory for people of color in the UK. She tells POPSUGAR, “I think it’s really good that they won because it just represents a lot. “It can demonstrate that people of color can participate in and win these competitions.
Mighty’s series was won by Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham and, while she is grateful for her time in the villa, she found herself bouncing around friendship couples, with no romantic connections. “It’s turned over a new leaf, you know?”, she adds. Amber Gill’s 2019 “Love Island” win marked her as the first and, until now, the only person of colour to have won the show, alongside Greg O’Shea, but never has a couple of colour been crowned the winners before this series. “I think everyone wanted them to win, which was great. They had all of the public’s back, so I’m glad that Love Island actually responded to it and actually saw that they were loved,” Mighty says.