Tom Malone Jr has spoken out with his girlfriend Bryony Briscoe after photos of them were used without their consent by social media accounts ‘fetishising interracial relationships’.
In a new video posted on his Instagram account, the former Gogglebox star sat beside his girlfriend as they expressed their discomfort over their relationship being ‘complimented based on their skin colour’.
In his caption, the dancer wrote: ‘Our Relationship Isn’t Defined By Race,’ before adding: ‘We’ve recently been told that our pictures have been posted on pages that fetishise interracial relationships and wanted to make it clear that we don’t advocate for that.’
In the video, Tom and Bryony began by talking about the fact that they’re in an interracial relationship, with Tom saying that he’s of white Irish descent and Bryony saying that she’s half Caribbean.
‘To us that’s a normal thing, but it’s recently been brought to our attention that there’s a number of pages that are posting pictures of us and they’re like whole pages that are just dedicated to Black and mixed race women finding white boyfriends and husbands. Like, that’s something to aspire to. It felt a little bit uncomfortable so we just wanted to address it on here,’ he said.
Bryony explained that if people wish to praise their relationship, they should celebrate ‘the love we have for each other, rather than our skin colour’.
Tom said that if people wish to compliment their relationship, they should commend the way he and Bryony treat one another, rather than complimenting them ‘based on our skin colour, because that’s not what we’re about at all and we don’t advocate for that’.
‘Being with a partner of a certain race isn’t something to aspire to. Being in a healthy relationship is something to aspire to, but race is not a factor in that,’ he stated.
Bryony chuckled as she referenced the ‘hashtag swirl movement’, a hashtag that is used on the social media pages where their pictures have been posted.
‘A healthy relationship isn’t based on your partner’s skin colour, is it?’ the make-up artist said, as she added that she found the ‘hashtag swirl’ movement ‘weird’.
Tom emphasised that he and Bryony ‘celebrate their differences’, as they understand that they come from different cultural backgrounds.
However, he feels opposed to their races being made to seem like the ‘be all and end all’ of their relationship.
‘If other people were to post something saying it’s great this couple can celebrate their differences that’s one thing, but it’s when it becomes being in an interracial relationship that’s a Black woman with a white man is something to aspire to… that’s when it gets uncomfortable,’ he said.
Last year, Tom and Bryony spoke out against the racist abuse they had experienced on social media as an interracial couple, laughing off the vitriolic messages from trolls.
‘At the end of the day just be with who you wanna be with and be happy because these people aren’t even brave enough to have their own name or faces on their account,’ he said at the time.
Gogglebox is available to watch on All 4.
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