It's that time again: the nation is gearing up for a new season of summer Love Island, with the show's creators promising that this year the cast will be more diverse than ever. However, while we may be able to expect greater variety when it comes to body types and race this season (*prays*), unfortunately it sounds unlikely that the show's LGBTQ+ representation isn't set to dramatically increase.
Speaking to the Radio Times about the upcoming series, ITV’s commissioner Amanda Stavri said, "There’s been quite a few rumours circulating about featuring gay Islanders, so it’s worth touching on that really... The line-up will be announced within time and it goes without saying that we want to encourage greater inclusivity and diversity."
However, Stavri added that having gay contestants on the show (which focuses on heterosexual romances, encouraging each female single to pair up with a male single) could pose a challenge. The only same-sex pairing on the show previously was in 2016, when Katie Salmon and Sophie Gradon coupled up.
"In terms of gay Islanders, I think the main challenge is regarding the format of Love Island," added Stavri. "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."
She continued on to say, "With our [other] dating shows, such as The Cabins, there is much more sexual diversity. 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 then added, "We’re always very mindful of diversity and inclusion and hopefully you’ll see that when we announce the line-up."
To that note, a source also previously told The Sun, "Love Island has always been inclusive – the only criteria is that you’re over 18 and looking for love, but this is the first year that finding contestants with more fluid sexuality has been part of the briefing." So maybe there's still hope yet for better queer representation (which - it surely goes without saying - is always a) important and b) a positive thing).
Two teaser trailers were recently released by ITV to get audiences excited for the upcoming season, however neither feature a glimpse of any of the contestants:
So, with all that in mind – will you be tuning in this summer? The series is set to kick off later this month (although the exact date is still tbc for now).
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