Love Island: ITV divides viewers by saying gay contestants would present ‘logistical difficulty’

One person called it ‘a tired, uninspired and lazy take’

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 03 June 2021 08:54
Love Island elimination announcement

ITV has divided viewers with its reasoning for excluding gay people from appearing on Love Island.

The reality show, which sees straight couples partnering up, is returning this month, but ITV commissioner Amanda Stavri has shut down speculation that there will be any gay contestants, saying the move would present a “logistical difficulty”.

Stavri told Radio Times: “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, I think the main challenge is regarding the format of Love Island. 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 [the] Islanders an equal choice when coupling up.”

Stavri said that there is “more sexual diversity” on the channel’s other realty series, The Cabins.

“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’s comments have divided viewers, with one describing them as “a tired, uninspired and lazy take”, and others thinking ITV should simply create a gay version of the hit series.

Find a selection of reactions below.

Iain Stirling will return to narrate the new show, which will be presented by Laura Whitmore when it returns on 28 June.

Speaking about this years group of contestants, Stavri said: “We’ve got a big sort of pool at the moment and  we need to sort of work out who to put in the opening line-up and who sort of to hold back, you know as a bombshell – we need the bombshells!”

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