Stefflon Don sparks fury on Love Island: Aftersun with speculative comment about Mehdi’s sexuality

Rapper Stefflon Don has sparked a backlash after speculating over Love Island contestant Mehdi’s sexuality while appearing on the reality show’s sister programme, Love Island: Aftersun.

It’s that time of year again. Summertime has officially arrived, Glastonbury is over and the dulcet tones of Iain Sterling, aka the narrator of ITV‘s Love Island, can be heard on television sets across the UK every night.

The reality show consistently captures the attention of the nation with its liberal sprinkling of tiny bikinis, rippling abs and vapid conversations about “coupling up” in what’s essentially a Lynx-scented mating ritual, all under the façade of finding true love.

However, the show has a troubled history with the concept of queer people existing inside the neon-lit walls of the villa. Aside from gay people being termed “logistically difficult” by bosses, and despite calls from previous contestants to include them, season 10 has now left its own mark – this time, with another discussion over a contestant’s sexuality.

Similar to the speculation that contestant Will Young was subject to earlier this year, Mehdi Edno’s sexuality has become a hot topic of conversation. The most recent example of this has come from the British rapper whose real name is Stephanie Allen.

The comments by the “16 Shots” singer were made on Sunday’s (25 June) Love Island: Aftersun, the recap show for all things Love Island.

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Prompted by host Maya Jama to discuss Mehdi’s current coupling – with the season’s darling and meme queen, Whitney Adebayo – Stefflon said: “I don’t know if he even likes females, I’m not gonna lie. I’m not sure if he’s, you know… or he likes both, he’s giving a bit of both.”

Despite attempts by Jama to diffuse the tension by saying: “He can do whatever he likes,” the live studio audience could be heard booing the rapper’s words.

Speaking to PinkNews, one viewer lambasted the comments and explained just how harmful claims like these are to all men, queer or not.

“When you scrutinise someone’s behaviour and mannerisms and decide that they’re gay if they don’t meet societal standards of masculinity, it harms queer people because it scares them into never coming out or having doubts about doing so.

“It also perpetuates toxic masculinity and queerphobia by signalling to cis straight men that they can’t express themselves in certain ways because if they do, they’re gay or not manly enough.”

Further criticism can be found across Twitter in various comment sections.

“That was really unnecessary,” one fan wrote. “We should not be questioning people’s sexuality in 2023.”

Another viewer deconstructed the argument that “it’s not homophobia” because “we are all thinking it”, by explaining that “implying someone is gay because of the way they walk, talk etc is very harmful towards the LGBTQ+ community. It pushes harmful stereotypes. Also, she is using it as a negative connotation.”

A third wrote that “Every year on Love Island, the public decides one man is secretly gay. It’s always because they don’t think he’s manly enough. It’s a sobering reminder that we’re not as progressive as we think we are, and explains why we have so many issues with men and masculinity.”

The show’s relationship with the queer community didn’t get off to a good start this season. Contestant George Fensom, who was the first islander to be booted out of the villa, was condemned for past homophobic tweets after his casting was announced.

PinkNews has contacted Stefflon Don’s representatives for comment.

Love Island airs at 9pm on ITV2 and ITVX.