Love Island’s response to the lack of body diversity among this year’s contestants has not gone down well with viewers.
As the show has continued to grow in popularity, many have taken issue with the fact that each year, the contestants tend to all have a similar body type, and what message about body image this might send to those watching.
With the new line-up featuring the usual mix of slim women and muscular men, eyebrows were raised among those hoping for a broader spectrum in terms of how the contestants look.
Love Island’s creative director Richard Cowles has now responded to this, but his statement has not been well-received.
Speaking at a press conference in Mallorca, Spain, he said: “First and foremost, it’s an entertainment show and it’s about people wanting to watch who you’ve got on screen falling in love with one another.
“Yes, we want to be as representative as possible but we also want them to be attracted to one another.”
He added: “We’re not saying that everyone that’s in there is how you’re supposed to look. We’re saying here’s a group of people that we want to watch for eight weeks, and we want to watch them fall in love. That’s not at the front of our mind, but we do want to be as diverse as possible.”
One line in particular from his response (yep, it’s the “we want them to be attracted to one another” bit) has already been heavily criticised on social media...
A rep for the show previously said: “When casting for Love Island, we always strive to reflect the age, experiences and diversity of our audience and this year is no exception with a cross section of different personalities and backgrounds in the villa.”
Love Island has previously come under fire for other ways it has failed to measure up in terms of representation, largely because of the lack of LGBTQ+ contestants, which ITV has previously said is because the format of the show “doesn’t really allow” for same-sex relationships.
Love Island returns to our screens on Monday 3 June at 9pm on ITV2.