Love Island has been very straight so far (Picture: Matt Frost/ITV)
ITV has defended the lack of LGBTQ+ islanders on Love Island, saying they ‘haven’t found a way to make it suitable for the show’.
Earlier this year, producers of the ITV2 dating show came under fire for suggesting it would be a ‘logistical difficulty’ to have same-sex pairings on the villa.
Despite fans giving suggestions as to how a queer Love Island would work, the channel maintains that the show is ‘about boys and girls coupling up’.
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Director of Television at ITV Kevin Lygo said: ‘Love Island is a particular thing, it’s about boys and girls coupling up so if you want to do a gay version, or widen it, it is discussed and we haven’t yet found a way that would make it suitable for that show.’
There have been bisexual islanders in the villa before, including Megan Barton-Hanson and Sharon Gaffka, although neither came out while on the show – and in Sharon’s case, her discussion about her sexuality wasn’t aired.
In series two, the late Sophie Gradon had spoken about being bisexual, and at one point coupled up with Katie Salmon.
Megan came out as bisexual after the show (Picture: ITV)
However, aside from Sophie and Katie, there has been no same-sex couples on the show.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, series four legend Megan, who came out publicly after making the final with Wes Nelson, said: ‘I get why they are hesitant to do it, but I don’t think it’s working when they [producers] chuck in one bisexual person. I think with the whole tokenism thing, the girls just end up with the guy, maybe to stay on the show longer, I don’t know. If they had an all gay line-up, it would just be so much more interesting to watch.’
She suggested that an all-LGBTQ+ version of Love Island replace the winter series, saying: ‘I think they should have one straight one and one queer one, that would be great and quite interesting too rather than having the same thing twice in one year. I think people need to see representation because it’s just not out there enough.
‘How it is right now, you can kind of predict what’s going to happen: If there’s a straight couple who are happy, the producers will just send in a person for whoever they think is likely to stray and send in a person who’s their type. If there was an LGBT+ cast you could be tempted by anyone. I think it would be much juicier.’
One LGBTQ+ producer admitted that while a queer version of the show would ‘technically be more complex than when the cast of a show are split 50/50 down cis-hetero binaries’, this would be relatively easy to overcome.
They said: ’It would need to be more narratively layered and forward planned to make space for more unpredictable or narrower coupling options. It would also have a more interchangeable cast, so there would need to be tweaks to ceremonies and Casa Amor and a lot more contingency planning.’
The seventh series of Love Island came to its conclusion on Monday, with Millie Court and Liam Reardon being crowned winners and sharing the £50,000 prize.Credit: Original article published here.