Rykard Jenkins / Instagram


‘Love Island’ star’s Instagram photo doctored for MAGA hat ad

Rykard Jenkins said he wouldn't mind some promotion via Trump tweet.


Samira Sadeque


Posted on Sep 17, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 3:41 am CDT

Former Love Island contestant Rykard Jenkins recently found himself on a pro-Trump website selling “Make America Great Again” merchandise. His face had been used without his permission.

On Friday, Jenkins shared a tweet with a screenshot of the website next to his Instagram photo that had been doctored to advertise the MAGA hat.

“Woke up this morning to know I’m the new face for the 2020 @realDonaldTrump campaign?” he tweeted.

“In celebration of President Trump’s achievements and his re-election campaign we’re giving away a limited amount of these exclusive Trump 2020 hats for FREE, but only for a limited time or while stocks last,” the website ad reads.

The irony of promoting MAGA merchandise with a doctored photo of a Black man without his permission wasn’t lost.



Many suggested that Jenkins sue both President Donald Trump and his campaign, and others said he should ask for compensation.





But Jenkins had other plans in mind. He reportedly said in response to one of the tweets asking him to sue: “Haha! Tbh I’ll be happy for a free week in Trump Tower.” The was deleted by Tuesday morning, seemingly in response to the backlash. 

“Oh. So, you’re okay with your likeness being used to promote merchandise that has become a symbol of racism, oppression and division for a week at Trump Tower?” one user tweeted. “I guess everyone has their price. Trump Tower is a dump BTW.”

While Jenkins told BuzzFeed News he was “in complete shock,” he said he wasn’t too shaken up about it. He said he wouldn’t even mind some promotion through Trump’s tweets.

“Politics aside, I was cast [for] The Challenge [on] MTV. When they asked why do I want to go on it, I replied, ‘because I’ll be so great even the POTUS will tweet about me,'” he said. 

Meanwhile, Trump’s official campaign has denied any involvement with this. 

“We would not be involved in the promotion of counterfeit merchandise,” Tim Murtaugh, a spokesperson from Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, told BuzzFeed.


H/T BuzzFeed News

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*First Published: Sep 17, 2019, 1:16 pm CDT