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Film and TV

There’s a lesbian pretending to be straight on the new season of The Circle, and the internet has a lot of thoughts

Lily Wakefield September 25, 2019
The Circle emelle

Emelle is a contestant on The Circle who has decided to "play it straight" to go further in the game. (Channel 4)

A contestant on reality show The Circle is a lesbian who is pretending to be straight to become more popular and win the game, and the internet isn’t happy.

The Channel 4 reality game show features a group of contestants living in isolation in an apartment complex, who never meet in person.

They only interact through an online messaging system, ‘The Circle’, and can choose to be themselves or make up a new identity.

Each week the contestants rate each other, competing for popularity and £100,000 in cash, and the people with the lowest ratings risk being eliminated.

But Emelle, a 31-year-old lesbian model from Manchester, has decided to play as a 24-year-old straight woman.

According to her profile for The Circle: “Emelle thinks straight privilege is prevalent in society and believes getting ahead will be easier as a young straight woman.”

Introducing herself in last night’s episode, Emelle said: “Being gay definitely comes with its hurdles, you’ve got girls being intimidated by you and you’ve got guys trying to turn you, it’s just exhausting.

“Obviously I’d like to win the money and I need to be the ultimate popular person to win. Gay guys have got the whole popularity thing covered, but nobody’s ever asked me to be their lesbian best friend.

“So, in this, I’m going to play it straight. Because, to be honest, it’s just so much easier.

“Guys basically think with their willies, so they’re going to keep girls in that they think they might potentially bang. I’ve got to use that to my advantage and make them think they’ve got a chance.”

But viewers have taken to social media to criticise Emelle and the show, saying that her tactics send a problematic message, especially to young LGBT+ people watching.

Married YouTubers Whitney and Megan Bacon-Evans tweeted that they had both applied for the show as “a visible lesbian couple… showing that you don’t have to change who you are to be loved and accepted”, and added that picking Emelle instead was “sending the wrong message”.

Ironically, last night Emelle set her sights on seducing Jay to go further in the competition, but the person behind “Jay” is actually his 43-year-old mother Katie.

Viewers are also frustrated that Emelle “playing it straight” is a repeat of the tactics of gay season one contestant Freddie. 

One person wrote on Twitter: “Ah yes just like last year, the only LGBT person is pretending to be straight. STOP ADDING TO THE F***ING STIGMA.”

More: channel 4, emelle, game show, lesbian, The circle

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