Love Island’s Amber Gill says she lost 25,000 followers after posting about Black Lives Matter
‘I started to question whether what I was standing for was right’
Love Island 2019 winner, Amber Gill, has revealed in a podcast she lost 25,000 followers on social media any time she posted photos at a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020, and shared her own experiences of racism in the UK. Working with National Lottery Good Causes, in her new podcast Amazing Starts Here, Amber speaks with young activists, including those who are fighting to end female genital mutilation and reframing grief.
In the first episode of her podcast, Amber speaks to Amaal Ali and Mariama Sanneh, two young activists who have been raising awareness around racism and gender equality for Integrate UK. Amber shared she finds it stressful to speak about issues she is passionate about. She said: “I do like to talk about things that I’m passionate about, but then I don’t know if it’s because I’ve got like a platform where I’ve probably got a diverse audience that aren’t going to agree with everything that I say. I find it very stressful sometimes, even though I know I’m doing the right thing. I find it a lot of pressure.”
Young activist Amaal reflected on a time she was doing a Black Lives Matter workshop and she felt anxious speaking about it. She said: “You know, these things are just. You don’t realise how much they do affect you. Whether you’re just consuming the media, or whether you’re on the front line or you’re talking about it, it can be very overwhelming.”
Amber agreed that although it’s a hard thing to speak about, it is the right thing to do. She said: “When I was attending the BLM protests in 2020, I lost about 25k followers every time I posted pictures from the protest, it really took an emotional toll on me. I started to question whether what I was standing for was right, whether I have the right to be talking about these issues and whether I should just shut up. So, there are times where I need to take a break from things.”
When Amber spoke about racism in the UK, she shared that looking back, she experienced a lot of microaggressions when she was growing up. She said: “Whether people knew, or they didn’t know. I didn’t know at the time what was going on, I just thought people didn’t like us or whatever, but I experienced a lot of that, and I think it’s more like that in the UK.”
Amaal Ali shared in primary school she was a minority due to her religion and race and felt “very othered”. When it came to speaking out against racism and other issues, she said: “People are already looking at me or speaking about me. So why not just speak about the things that I find really important?”
Amber said there is a narrative about her from being on Love Island that people think she cannot speak out on certain things. She said: “I would never and I’m not speaking out about things because they’re trending, or I want to look good. I actually care. But we all got tarred with the same brush.”
Featured image credit via Instagram @amberrosegill.