Love Island boss says including gay islanders would be a ‘logistical difficulty’
‘The format must give Islanders an equal choice when coupling up’
An ITV boss has said including gay contestants on Love Island would be a “logistical difficulty” due to the format of the show.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, ITV commissioner Amada Stavri said the show required contestants to have an equal choice when coupling up, but that producers are aiming for more diversity when the cast for this year’s show is announced.
“In terms of gay Islanders, I think the main challenge is regarding the format of Love Island,” Stavri said.
“There’s a sort of logistical difficulty, because although Islanders don’t have to be 100 per cent straight, the format must sort of give Islanders an equal choice when coupling up.”
The show has been seeking out LGBTQ+ contestants for this series, which is due to start later this month, with bosses encouraging applications on Tinder.
“Our only stipulation for applicants on Love Island is that they are over 18, single and looking for love,” a spokesperson said.
Former contestant Megan Barton Hanson has also raised the issue of LGBTQ+ representation, with headlines saying she’d return to the show if they did a gay series. In an interview with The Tab, she urged fans to keep pushing on social media, as “producers do pay attention to what the audience wants to see”.
Comparing the situation to The Cabins, which featured more diversity than Love Island, ITV boss Stavri said: “The formats don’t have as much restrictions as Love Island. So we’re very sort of mindful of that across our programming on ITV and dating series. But that’s the difficulty with Love Island.”
Stavri added that a cast announcement would come soon, and promised more diversity. “The line-up will be announced within time and it goes without saying that we want to encourage greater inclusivity and diversity in terms of gay islanders,” she said.
It’s not the first time the issue has been raised by producers. In 2017, executive producer Richard Cowles said: “I would like to see what a gay version of the show would be but trying to mix the two would be difficult.”
Love Island 2021 will air on ITV2 in June. For all the latest Love Island gossip, news, rumours and memes, make sure you like The Holy Church of Love Island on Facebook.