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3 June 2019, 19:13
Former Love Island star Marcel Somerville has hit out at the 2019 contestant after a picture of him in blackface was unearthed.
Love Island hopeful Anton Danyluk's mother has denied her son is 'racist' after a picture was unearthed appearing to show him wearing blackface.
Fans of the ITV show, which returns to screens tonight, have threatened to boycott the show if the Scottish gym owner enters the villa.
In the picture, which was posted to his Facebook page in 2013 and seen by The Sun, Anton is dressed as Mr T at a Halloween party - and has painted himself with black face paint.
love island hasn't even started yet and i'm already cancelling anton for doing blackface, that ain't it luv pic.twitter.com/MuNUJGQ8kS— 🌹𝔢𝔵𝔞𝔪𝔰 🏳️🌈 (@mooyeoksi) June 1, 2019
A friend of Anton told The Sun: “Anton likes to be the life and soul of the party and his idea of having fun is having all the attention on him.
“He was proud of the effort he put in to the costume. He just thought it would be a good laugh.”
Heart.co.uk contacted an ITV representative for comment, who passed on the following statement from Anton's mother: "Given that Anton has no right to reply, I wanted to take the opportunity to assure everyone that my son, who himself is mixed heritage, is not a racist.
"As his mother I know he would be mortified to be labelled in such a way, and would whole heartedly apologise to anyone offended by this picture. There was absolutely no racist intent and almost six years down the line, I know it’s not the way Anton would ever behave today."
Former contestant Marcel Somerville, who appeared on the 2017 series of Love Island, has slammed Anton for the outfit.
He told The Sun on Sunday: “Blackface was a form of entertainment that comedians and actors used to do. But we all know it’s just not funny and simply not acceptable any more.
“In my opinion it hasn’t been acceptable for decades, so to hear that someone still thinks it’s OK to make fun of people’s skin colour is absolutely ridiculous. It’s racist, and for him to stay on the show now with no repercussions is not OK.
And sociology expert Professor Ellis Cashmore backed Marcel's claim that Anton should face reprecussions from the show, saying: “ITV has to pull Anton from Love Island. If it doesn’t, it will be forever making apologies. Blackface covers up more than someone’s face, it conceals racism.”
Many people took to Twitter to voice their concerns, with one writing: "If Anton goes into @LoveIsland I’m not watching, no time for people who blackface".
So are @LoveIsland just going to keep in the guy that did blackface? We need a response.— lol (@lolaAEO) June 3, 2019
If Anton goes into @LoveIsland I’m not watching, no time for people who blackface— HARRIET (@HarrietMischa) June 2, 2019
Another wrote: "If Anton goes into @LoveIsland I’m not watching, no time for people who blackface".
A third added: "So are @LoveIsland just going to keep in the guy that did blackface? We need a response."