The Block stars Sharon and Ankur reveal the good, the bad and the ugly of the show

👍 The Good: The 'real MVPs' of The Block

👎 The Bad: Racist messages 'were relentless’

😡 The Ugly: Show needs to do more

The Block’s Sharon and Ankur have had a difficult time while the show has been airing, with the couple opening up to Yahoo Lifestyle about the racist abuse they faced on social media.

And while they've criticised producers for failing to create a 'culturally safe' workplace, Sharon and Ankur applauded The Block's alumni for how they reacted to the vile abuse.

The 'real MVPs' of The Block

The Block couple Sharon and Ankur went into the show ‘naively’, and say they didn’t realise how ‘manipulative’ reality TV shows can be.

Although they were hit with a ‘villain’ edit, the pair were thankful for ‘the true family of The Block’. Around 15 former contestants reached out to support the couple, sending phone numbers and offering advice.

“They were like, ‘Guys, brace yourselves, call us and we’ll give you the lowdown’,” Sharon tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It was actually really caring, and it was a great support at the time.”

Ankur adds that past contestants know exactly what they’ve gone through, so it was wonderful to have that lifeline.

“It’s easy to focus on those couple of really sad humans who go out of their way to hurt others, but the ones that go out of their way to lift others up, I think are the real MVP,” Sharon says.

The Block stars Ankur and Sharon pose in a hard hat and high vis vests
The Block contestants Sharon and Ankur were excited to go on the show. Photo: Nine


Racist messages 'were relentless'

When Sharon and Ankur signed on to do The Block, they were excited to represent the Indian community on Australian screens.

What was supposed to be a highlight quickly turned into a nightmare, with Sharon constantly receiving horrible messages over social media. Sadly, many of the trolls took aim at the colour of her skin.

“These people come and find you, they find your email address. They find your family’s email address, they try to dig dirt on you. They just don’t stop and it’s relentless.

“It’s been really tough if we’re honest,” Sharon says.

Although The Block is wrapping up soon, the couple says the effects of the backlash will stay with them for a long time.

“[We were] thrust into the spotlight, and the social media…once the show’s gone, we’re still going to carry all that stuff with us,” Sharon adds.

Ankur and Sharon looking at each other during judging on The Block
The couple say their relationship has 'gone from strength to strength' after weathering the backlash. Photo: Nine


The Block’s producers 'lacked awareness'

After Sharon and Ankur were labelled ‘cheats’ on the show, the pair received an ongoing barrage of hate.

Sharon tells us that producers didn’t have enough ‘awareness’ to ‘protect’ them from racist backlash, and adds that people of colour are treated ‘differently’.

“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’,” she tells us.

Ana Tiwary, a respected producer/director and champion of representation onscreen, adds that people of colour are set up for failure due to systemic racism.

“When they fail, they are blamed and judged. It’s not a level playing field either – different standards are set for people of colour,” she explains to Yahoo Lifestyle.

Ana says it’s imperative to not only have diversity onscreen, but diverse producers who will create cultural safety for everybody on the show.

Ankur looks at his phone while Sharon discusses an invoice with a tradie on The Block
Sharon believes they were given a 'villain edit'. Photo: Nine


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