Reality show Love Island 2019 winner Amber Gill said she faced racism in the UK and lost tens of thousands of followers on social media every time she posted her pictures from Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests.
In a podcast with young activists Amaal Ali and Mariama Sanneh, Gill said she liked to speak about the right things on public platforms, although she often found it was “stressful” and took an emotional toll on her.
“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 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,” she said in the podcast reported by The Tab.
“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.”
BLM, a social movement seeking to highlight racism, discrimination and inequality experienced by black people, became intense worldwide after the death of black man George Floyd in the US in 2020. It attracted the attention of several celebrities like Gill who took part in the protests.
She said she endured microaggressions as a child without knowing what was happening at the time.
“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,” she said.