It’s important to acknowledge the real challenges within the existing format of Love Island (Picture: ITV2/Joel Anderson)
The person I’d like to couple up with is… an operational nightmare, apparently.
Unwittingly summing up my entire dating life, ITV’s commissioner Amanda Stavri set social media ablaze last week by saying that including ‘gay Islanders’ in the upcoming series of Love Island would be a ‘logistical difficulty’.
She didn’t confirm whether there’d be LGBT+ contestants in the latest series – due to begin later this month – but added: ‘Although Islanders don’t have to be 100% straight, the format must sort of give [the] Islanders an equal choice when coupling up.’
Jokes aside, I agree with Stavri that the current format of Love Island presents challenges for the inclusion of same-sex couplings – but this doesn’t mean that we completely close the door on diversity.
Love Island doesn’t necessarily need to change, but there needs to be a balance of alternatives. There’s surely ample opportunity for new prime time reality dating shows with a format that allows for greater inclusion of LGBT+ people – but as of yet, these don’t exist.
Stavri’s unfortunate phrasing was immediately met with incredulity and outrage by many who felt that this was yet another example of discrimination against LGBT+ people by the mainstream media.
Comments ranged from those lamenting ‘yet another place where we’re not welcome’ to those who raged at ITV ‘blatantly ignoring an entire community’.
Others – myself included – have embraced the phrase, wearing it as a sardonic badge of honour. Gay artist Philip Normal even created a limited line of T-shirts with the slogan emblazoned across the front.
It’s important to acknowledge the real challenges within the existing format of Love Island. The principle is that there is a level playing field: all contestants must have an equal number of viable suitors to choose from in order for the format to work.Credit: Original article published here.