We Need To Talk About The Dismissal Of Black Women On Reality TV Dating Shows
Culture & Entertainment

We Need To Talk About The Dismissal Of Black Women On Reality TV Dating Shows

Ask me what are some of my favorite reality TV shows and I will immediately tell you TheReal Housewives of Atlanta and TheReal Housewives of Potomac (and honorable mention TheReal Housewives of Beverly Hills), however, I’ve been expanding my horizons a little bit and recently began engulfing myself in dating reality competition shows.

It might be the lover in me but I enjoy seeing people meet and fall in love. However, if you watch enough of those shows, you know it’s more than just falling in love. The contestants are typically competing for money; when love, money, and competition mix, there is always some drama. And I live for every second of it.

However, as a Black woman who watches these shows, it is hard to ignore some of the glaring treatment that many Black women deal with. Black Twitter has also been on fire about this topic thanks to Netflix’s latest reality TV dating show Perfect Match. The show features a cast made up of reality TV stars from the streaming giant’s other shows such asLove Is Blind andSelling Tampa.

The contestants live in a villa and they participate in competitions for a chance to have control over what new contestants they can bring in and set up on blind dates with those already living in the house. At the end of the night, contestants have to pair up and the one’s left without a partner have to leave the villa.

*Spoilers ahead*

On the first night, Selling Tampa star Anne-Sophie Petit-Frere, who was the only Black woman on the show at that point, shared her lack of enthusiasm for matching with Zay Wilson (The Ultimatum), a Black man, because they were the only two people left without a match.

After new contestants showed up later on, she decided to take a chance on Too Hot to Handle star Chase DeMoor, a Black man, and match with him. But that didn’t last long. If you watched Chase’s season on Too Hot to Handle, then you may know that the women he paired with were of the non-melanin kind, and he decided to send Anne packing.

Her Selling Tampa co-star had even worse luck. Colony Reeves came in a few episodes later after Anne’s departure and she was set up on a blind date with Dom Gabriel, a Black man whose claim to fame is The Mole. Dom became a target of Black Twitter after he was in tears over Too Hot to Handle star Francesca Farago dumping him (chile) but he later matched with Georgia.

On his blind date with Colony, he immediately told her that he was not interested and kept raving over her being “strong.” Once they both entered the villa, he introduced her to other men as a “strong Black woman” (cringe). She, along with Izzy Fairthorne, went home that same night.


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Colony recently responded to Dom in a TikTok video alongside Anne. The caption read “Do you identify as a strong black woman?” with the “no” sound repeating in the background of the video. However, Dom’s contestants later sent him on another date with another Black woman, Diamond Jack from Love Is Blind season one and again he lets her know he’s not interested.

However, going into episode 9, it seemed like Diamond had some potential suitors as she was matched with The Mole reality star Will Richardson and had a promising blind date with Love Is Blind season 3 star Bartise Bowden. However, that night she caught Bartise locking lips with Abby Humphreys and Will confessed that he had his eyes for Francesca. Diamond ultimately made the decision to leave and strutted out of the house. And then there were no Black women left (but two Black men remained).

Perfect Match became yet another example in a long line of reality dating shows that show Black women getting the short end of the stick. Time and time again, women of other races and ethnicities seem to get picked over Black women and it is hard to watch. But I must admit, there have been some success stories.

When the contestants who left the house came back for a last shot at love, Bartise and Izzy decided to give their relationship another chance and they made it to the end of the show. Outside of Perfect Match, there’s Dami Hope and Indiyah Polack, a Black couple from ITV2’s Love Island season 8, and Lauren Speed-Hamilton, a Black woman who found love with Cameron Hamilton, a white man in the first season of Love Is Blind. While Lauren found love on her show, it didn’t stop her from speaking out in a series of tweets in Oct. 2022 about Black women having “slim pickings” on Love Is Blind season 3.

“I know it’s slim pickings but about 85% of them couples be forced (just moving forward for entertainment purposes) anyway. Y’all could at least force some more sisters to move forward throughout the show,” she tweeted.

Hopefully, more contestants will speak out about the dismissal of Black women on these shows and fans continue to use their voices on social media as a way to spark change.

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Feature image from "Perfect Match"/ Netflix

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