ITV Promises 'Diverse' New Series Of Love Island – But This Won't Include Gay Contestants

Many fans have long called for more LGBTQ representation on the ITV2 reality show.

ITV bosses have teased that Love Island is aiming to increase diversity with this year’s series – but that seemingly will not extend to the inclusion of gay contestants.

Love Island fans have long called for LGBTQ contestants to be represented on the hit ITV2 reality show, which is set to return to our screens this summer after a prolonged absence due to the pandemic.

Speaking to Radio Times, ITV commissioner Amanda Stavri said: “The line-up will be announced within time and it goes without saying that we want to encourage greater inclusivity and diversity.”

However, those hoping 2021 would be the year gay islanders would be making their way into the villa will be left disappointed, with Amanda highlighting the supposed “logistical difficulty” this would raise.

The cast of Love Island 2020
The cast of Love Island 2020
Joel Anderson/ITV/Shutterstock

“In terms of gay Islanders, I think the main challenge is regarding the format of Love Island,” she explained.

“There’s a sort of logistical difficulty, because although Islanders don’t have to be 100 percent straight, the format must sort of give [the] Islanders an equal choice when coupling up.”

These comments have, unsurprisingly, sparked a big reaction online:

Love Island has previously only featured one same-sex pairing in the past six series, when the late Sophie Gradon briefly coupled up with Katie Salmon.

Several former Islanders have come out as LGBTQ since leaving the show, including finalist Megan Barton Hanson, who claimed in 2019 she kept the fact she is bisexual hidden on the show out of concern there’d be a “stigma” attached to her.

Love Island will return for its seventh series later in the summer, with Laura Whitmore once again back on presenting duties.


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