The Block Australia 2022’s Sharon Johal has suggested that reality TV producers should have had more “awareness” of how “villain” edits could disproportionately impact people of colour (POC) due to racist trolling.

The 34-year-old actress has previously spoken out about the online bullying she and Ankur Dogra have been inundated with, which included problematic messages from fans of the popular renovation show.

Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle on October 28, Sharon explained that producers allowing POC contestants to be described as “cheats” created a false narrative that sparked racist comments from The Block viewership.

sharon johal the block

“When you attribute the word ‘cheater’ to a person of colour, straight away it goes to: ‘Oh, these Indians steal our jobs, get out of our country’,” Sharon told the publication.

She urged The Block’s producers to “protect” future POC contestants from experiencing racist trolling by not creating “villain” edits that spark hatred.

A Multicultural TV Representation Advocate Agrees That Block’s POC Contestants Were Not on a “Level Playing Field”

Prominent Australian producer Ana Tiwary echoed Sharon’s sentiments about the cause of racist trolling when speaking to the publication.

“When they [POC contestants] fail, they are blamed and judged. It’s not a level playing field, either. [There are] different standards are set for people of colour,” she said.

The Block’s first Muslim contestants – Omar Slaimankhel and Ozman “Oz” Malik – were also called out for allegedly “cheating”. They were also described as “dodgy” numerous times throughout the 2022 season.

Additionally, they suffered due to the producers’ apparent lack of foresight. Multiple challenges on The Block 2022 have involved alcohol – which is strictly haraam (forbidden) in Muslim culture.

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