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Love Island accused of appropriating queer culture after ‘Spill the Tea’ challenge

Josh Milton January 14, 2020
Love Island's Winter series featured a 'Spill The Tea' contest, prompting some criticism from LGBT+ fans. (Screen capture via ITV)

Love Island's Winter series featured a 'Spill The Tea' contest, prompting some criticism from LGBT+ fans. (Screen capture via ITV)

LGBT+ Love Island fans have been clamouring for a queer spin-off for years, and all their dreams were answered on Monday’s episode.

Well, sort of. Well, not at all.

The dating show, which features men and women coupling up to win a cash prize, is currently in its winter series run.

But the series was plunged into controversy even before it aired, after contestant Ollie was revealed to have a history hunting animals, Sky News reported.

Its latest spell of scandal comes after the first challenge of the series was called ‘Spill The Tea’, fanning fury from the community who accused the show of “appropriating queer culture”.

Love Island featured ‘Spill the Tea’ challenge and one contestant said ‘And I oop’.

Facts about the contestants were read out, and they had to guess who it was referring to. If they guessed incorrectly, they were dunked into a gigantic tea pot.

The facts ranged from a member’s favour sex position to how many partners they previously slept with.

But the use of the term, which has its history in queer black drag culture, sparked anger from queer viewers.

Similarly, in the same episode, contestant Mike referenced Jasmine Masters’ “And I oop” meme.

The two references to queer culture were not exactly the representation LGBT+ viewers were pining for, however. 

PinkNews has contacted ITV for comment.

Is there going to be an LGBT+ Love Island anytime soon?

Since the show’s spike in popularity in 2015, ITV2 bosses, show producers and viewers have all been in a back-and-forth for years over the issue of queer representation in Love Island.

Some viewers have campaigned to get a queer Love Island off the ground, and hoped that after it was announced that 2020 will feature two series that one would be queer.

Curtis Pritchard topless
Curtis Pritchard has said that he doesn’t label his sexuality. (ITV)

Moreover, Love Island Australia saw a same-sex couple pair up, whereas last year’s contestant Curtis Pritchard revealed he was open to a same-sex relationship after the show ended.

Nevertheless, after winning Best Reality at the 2018 BAFTA TV Awards, producer Richard Cowles explained why the main series won’t include same-sex pairings any time soon.

“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 told reporters.

He added that he would consider a spin-off “for a gay audience with a gay villa”, though this is yet to manifest.

More: and i oop, love island, Queer culture, spill the tea

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