'LGBTQ&Straight Island?' British Dating Reality Show Plans to be More Sexually Inclusive

Sunday April 11, 2021

How do you make more inclusive with LGBTQ contestants?

The hugely successful ITV British reality series has faced criticism for its lack of LGBTQ representations. "While previous series of 'Love Island' have included bisexual stars, the show is yet to include gay couples," writes the British tabloid The Daily Star.

"ITV is accepting applications for Love Island 2021 from both gay and straight singletons, despite show execs admitting it would be hard to make a mixed sexuality version of the show work," reports the Daily Star. "Producers say they are open to any applicant who is looking for love so long as they are over 18."

To do so, they have formed a partnership with the dating app Tinder to face-track the application process with ads promoting the recruitment process appearing on both the app's gay and straight-identified users profiles. "While it would have been possible to only get the ads to show on straight singleton's profiles, the adverts have been regularly appearing on gay profiles," adds the Daily Star.

A source said: "ITV and Love Island teamed up with Tinder earlier this year to find a new batch of islanders. They have been placing the ads strategically inside the app so you have to swipe left or right.
The ads have been showing up on both male and female gay accounts as well as on those of straight people."

An ITV rep added: "Our only stipulation for applicants on Love Island is that they are over 18, single and looking for love."

According to Pink News, "'Love Island' creator Richard Cowles has long wanted to produce a more diverse version but previously said it would be difficult to carry out under the current format.

"You are trying to create couples," he said in 2017. "It is not impossible and it is not something that we shy away from... but there is a logistical element which makes it difficult."

How the format of "Love Island" will be altered to accommodate different sexualities has yet to be determined. Still, showrunners seem committed to opening it up with the use of Tinder. According to a report in the Metro: "One in five matches made on Tinder are queer, according to a report from the app."

Twitter responded, some with skepticism, with many wanting just a queer "Love Island":