Fans hit-out at Love Island’s ‘diversity problem’, as Caroline Flack hints at gay romance
Love Island fans have slammed the show for having “no body diversity,” and not representing the LGBT community – as host Caroline Flack hints that there could be a gay romance this summer.
Season four of the show kicked off last night – complete with fake tan slathered bodies and an abundance of synthetic eyelashes – as eleven singletons entered the revamped Majorcan villa.
This year’s line-up includes model Eyal Booker, Danny Dyer’s daughter Dani, air steward Laura Anderson and, A&E doctor Alex George.
But – despite the eclectic mix of professions – there were no larger bodies in sight. The contestants were the usual sludge of lean, muscular, and slim.
And, although Caroline Flack has hinted that there could be a same-sex couple this summer – telling the Mirror today: “I don’t see any reason why not,” – there are still no signs of any LGBT contestants.
Gerry Stergiopoulos, an author and former Big Brother contestant, lashed out at the show’s choice of islanders on Twitter.
#LoveIsland might trigger body insecurity to many young people. Where ARE the curvier girls? Where are the guys with a bit of a tummy? This is an island where if you are a size 10 plus female or a bloke without a six pack, you basically don’t deserve love!”
One Twitter user wrote: “I wish
#LoveIsland would represent more body shapes & people of the LGBT community. Instead I feel like I’m being force fed hetero-norms.”
Another fan said that Love Island is “so so good”, but that there is “no body diversity and I just hope that not every girl/guy watching is feeling insecure.”
Last night’s show saw the formation of five couples.
Host Caroline Flack then introduced an eleventh – and surprise contestant – Adam, who will choose an islander to couple up with on tonight’s show, consequently breaking up one of the pairings.
Channel 4 presenter Rick Edwards joked on Twitter that personal trainer Adam could be gay, and choose to couple up with a guy.
However, Adam only indicated that he is interested in women on last night’s show.
Other fans tweeting before the show called for LGBT contestants.
One said: “Really hopin [sic] lose island pulls through tonight and gives us the gay couple we deserve.”
The launch of the latest series of the show on Monday (June 4) broke ITV2 viewing figures, with an audience average of 2.95 million people.
Last month, Richard Cowles, the show’s executive producer, suggested that there could be a gay spin-off of Love Island.
Speaking in the press room after Love Island won a BAFTA Award, he said: “For a dating show, you need everyone to fancy everyone, so if you have gay and heterosexual in the same place, they’re not going to fancy each other,” he said in the press room at the BAFTAs.
However, Cowles added he would consider a gay version of the show, “for a gay audience with a gay villa,” saying he was open to producing two seasons a year.
Also in May, an ITV spokesperson suggested that this season could include LGBT players.
“Everyone is welcome to apply – the only stipulations are that people are over 18 and single/looking for love,” they told OK! Online.
But show bosses have previously said that there can’t be queer contestants due to the logistical nature of Love Island.
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ITV 2’s head of digital channels Paul Mortimer said: “The format doesn’t really allow it. If you’re familiar with the programme, it’s about coupling and recoupling. To complicate it with same-sex relationships is to take something away from the format,” said
“I know Richard [Cowles] said, maybe with tongue-in-cheek, that we might do a gay version one day.”
Cowles, who is also an executive producer on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!, said last year: “I would like to see what a gay version of the show would be.
However, he outlined the practical issues – as he saw it – with introducing gay and lesbian competitors alongside straight contestants.
“You are trying to create couples,” he said.
“It is not impossible and it is not something that we shy away from… but there is a logistical element which makes it difficult.”
In 2016, bi contestants Sophie Gradon and Katie Salmon paired up on the programme, but were told to couple up with a man if they wanted to be in with a chance to win the £50,000 cash prize.