People have been mocking Tasha from Love Island’s voice and quite frankly, it’s disgusting

‘The jokes and abuse aimed at Tasha, or at anyone who is deaf or disabled, are completely unacceptable’

Love Island contestant Tasha Ghouri is being mocked and made fun of online for her disability, with people commenting on and even making videos impersonating the way she speaks due to her being deaf.

This season of Love Island saw its first deaf contestant, 23-year-old Tasha from North Yorkshire. After the inclusion of Hugo in last year’s season, who was the show’s first ever visibly and physically disabled contestant, it is clear that the reality TV show is making steps, albeit small ones, to making their cast more diverse. With such a severe lack of representation of disabled people in TV shows and films, it is fantastic that shows as popular as Love Island are making attempts at inclusivity.

However, the same cannot be said for the show’s audience. Receiving hate from the general public comes with the territory of appearing on reality TV and Tasha has not exactly been a fan favourite on the show. But the comments online about Tasha have now gone far beyond what you would expect and people are now just making fun of her disability.

via @tashaghouri on Instagram

Tasha was born completely deaf and now has a cochlear implant in one ear, and often refers to her disability as her “super power”. Her first night in the villa, Tasha opened up to the entire villa about her disability and was met with praise from her fellow Islanders, with Luca saying: “She’s got some balls to do that and credit to her.”

But now a new trend on TikTok sees people mimicking Tasha’s way of speaking – with the top results when you search her name “Tasha impression hearing aid meme” and “guy does of impression Tasha”. Impressions of other Islanders exist on TikTok but what sets these videos about Tasha apart from the rest is that people are not only imitating what she says but the very way she speaks as well, attempting to copy the specific tone of her voice that she has due to being born deaf.

The ableist trolling has also made its way over to Twitter where one person said: “Tasha is so annoying someone should just rip her hearing aid off – I can’t stand her voice either.” Other Tweets ‘joke’ about damaging or removing her hearing aid, claiming she is less attractive due to wearing a hearing aid and others calling her sickening ableist slurs.

via @tashaghouri on Instagram

A deaf spokesperson, Stacey Worboys, for the charity Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) who work to make life inclusive for the 12 million deaf people living in the UK, condemned the ableist comments being made about Tasha online, saying: “The jokes and abuse aimed at Tasha, or at anyone who is deaf or disabled, are completely unacceptable.”

Fans of Tasha have come to her defence, with one taking to Twitter to say: “Making jokes about Tasha’s hearing aid is the unfunniest thing you could come up… deaf people exist in real life and they can see your deranged tweets”. Another Twitter user called out people’s ableist mocking, saying: “Not liking Tasha isn’t an excuse to be ableist… making jokes about her voice (which sounds like that because she was born deaf) and about her hearing aid (stealing/damaging it) is fucked”. 

Regardless of what you think about her behaviour in the villa, mocking Tasha for being deaf and mimicking her voice is nothing but vile and disgusting. Not liking someone is never an excuse to make fun of their disability.

via ITV

The relentless trolling of Tasha’s disability has got to a point that her family have now released a statement urging people to stop making fun of her. In a post made to Tasha’s Instagram, her family said: “Hey Everyone! We thank everyone for the love and support for our gal Tasha as we are behind her 110%.

“We understand everybody has opinions both negative and positive but please could we avoid making fun of her superpower – let’s lead with love always!”

Stacey Worboys from RNID, who is deaf, said: “Our charity and communities have been so disappointed by the online abuse Tasha is facing for being deaf. But, sadly, we are not surprised – too many people still have outdated attitudes that need to be challenged.

“It was great to see Tasha join Love Island as the programme’s first deaf contestant – and someone who wears her cochlear implant with pride. It’s such a big show and this is going to help increase awareness, but the abuse shows there is still a long way to go.

“The jokes and abuse aimed at Tasha, or at anyone who is deaf or disabled, are completely unacceptable. We all need to call out these attitudes where we see them and we urge the show’s producers and social media platforms like Twitter to make it clear that they won’t tolerate this kind of behaviour.”

This is not the first time an islander has been trolled this season, Casa Amor new girl Coco Lodge has faced ridicule online since entering the villa. Not only have people been criticising Coco’s behaviour whilst on the show, but they have also mocked her appearance with people making comparisons between her and footballer Jonjo Shevley. OG Islander Amber Beckford’s family made the decision to delete her Twitter account before she left the villa after she received relentless hate comments.

Love Island 2022 continues on ITV2 at 9pm tonight. For all the latest Love Island news and gossip and for the best memes and quizzes, like The Holy Church of Love Island on Facebook. 

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Featured image via ITV before edits.