Entertainment

Love Island 2021 line-up slammed by fans for lack of diversity


Love Island‘s 2021 line-up has come under fire from ‘disappointed’ fans as they complained about the lack of diversity after bosses promised an ‘inclusive’ cast.

Taking to Twitter after 11 new contestants were revealed on Monday, which includes the show’s first-ever disabled Islander – PE teacher Hugo Hammond, frustrated viewers also pointed out the programme’s failure to include plus-size singletons. 

Love Island has previously been slammed by fans and former contestants for lack of different ethnic backgrounds, body types and members of the LGBT community represented on the show. 

Slammed: Love Island’s 2021 line-up has come under fire from ‘disappointed’ fans as they complained about the lack of diversity after bosses promised an ‘inclusive’ cast (contestant Faye Winter pictured)

Leading the 2021 Islanders this year are OnlyFans star Shannon Singh, fashion blogger Kaz Kamwi, the show’s first ever disabled star – PE teacher Hugo, Nando’s waitress Liberty Poole and civil servant Sharon Gaffka.

Also on the line-up are financial services marketing executive Chloe Burrows, semi-pro footballer Toby Aromolaran, water engineer Jake Cornish, events planner Aaron Francis, labourer Brad McClelland and lettings manager Faye Winter. 

Taking to Twitter after the 2021 cast was revealed, fans shared their ‘disappointment’ over the lack of diversity and plus-size contestants, saying: ‘They stuck with tokenism and just hit copy and paste.’

However, despite the first 11 contestants already being confirmed, the ITV2 dating series will be introducing other Islanders, which are yet to be revealed, onto the show as the season progresses – allowing a chance for more diversity. 

Frustration: Taking to Twitter after 11 new contestants were revealed on Monday, frustrated viewers also pointed out the lack of plus-size singletons (new contestant Chloe Burrows pictured)

Line-up: New Islander Liberty Poole pictured

Frustration: Taking to Twitter after 11 new contestants were revealed on Monday, frustrated viewers also pointed out the lack of plus-size singletons (new contestants Chloe Burrows, left, and Liberty Poole, right) 

Line-up: The 2021 line-up  includes the show's first-ever disabled Islander - PE teacher Hugo Hammond (pictured) - who was born with club foot and braved multiple operations as a child

Line-up: The 2021 line-up  includes the show’s first-ever disabled Islander – PE teacher Hugo Hammond (pictured) – who was born with club foot and braved multiple operations as a child

One person said: ‘Once again, i’m disappointed but not surprised at the total lack of body diversity on #loveisland Of course I’m still going to watch it, but it’s 2021. Do better.’ 

Another follower commented: ‘Over a year to find a diverse cast but someone decided nah let’s just stick with tokenism and copy + paste the rest.’ 

A different account put: ‘Lads I’m so excited for Love Island that I could BURST but where is the flipping diversity we were promised?!’  

Another viewer commented: ‘@LoveIsland I thought we were gonna have some more diversity this year.’

'It's 2021. Do better': Taking to Twitter after the 2021 cast was revealed, fans shared their 'disappointment' over the lack of diversity and plus-size contestants, saying: 'It's 2021. Do better.'

‘It’s 2021. Do better’: Taking to Twitter after the 2021 cast was revealed, fans shared their ‘disappointment’ over the lack of diversity and plus-size contestants, saying: ‘It’s 2021. Do better.’

A different fan ranted: ‘No diversity yet again in the Love Island line up… Shameful.’  

Another viewer noted: ‘As if I was hoping there was going to be plus size people on love island this year lol I don’t even watch it.’ 

A different follower put: ‘So with all the body positivity talks that’s been going on still can’t see any plus size person(s) in the #LoveIsland line up.’ 

Former fury: Love Island has previously been slammed by fans and former contestants for lack of different ethnic backgrounds, body types and members of the LGBT community represented on the show (new contestant Jake Cornish pictured)

Contestants: New Islander Brad McClelland pictured

Former fury: Love Island has previously been slammed by fans and former contestants for lack of different ethnic backgrounds, body types and members of the LGBT community represented on the show (new contestants Jake Cornish, left, and Brad McClelland, right) 

Another fan joked: ‘Does the Love Island cast look exactly the same as every year? Yes. Does it annoy me cause there’s literally zero body diversity? Yes. 

‘But am I still gonna watch it religiously at 9pm every single night for the next couple months? ABSOLUTELY YES. #LoveIsland @LoveIsland.’ 

While a different person added: ‘Nice to see a disabled contestant being included but still no plus size contestants. #LoveIsland.’  

MailOnline has contacted ITV for comment. 

LOVE ISLAND 2021: MEET THE CONTESTANTS

Sharon Gaffka, 25

 Sharon Gaffka, 25  

Name: Sharon Gaffka

Age: 25

Location: Oxford

Occupation: Civil Servant – Operations Lead for Department of Transport

Who is their type on paper? ‘I tend to date someone who is taller than me, even though my last long-term partner, he was actually someone who was shorter than me. 

‘I’m quite an intellectual person so I want someone who can kind of match that.’

Aaron Francis, 24

 Aaron Francis, 24

Name: Aaron Francis

Age: 24

Location: London

Occupation: Luxury Events Host

Who is their type on paper? ‘I need someone that is passionate about what they are doing – from scientist to anything – you can tell when someone is speaking about something and they are actually smiling while they are talking. I love that. 

‘I don’t like when people are doing a job just to make money and then they kind of just live for the weekend. Especially because I work on the weekends.’

Liberty Poole, 21

 Liberty Poole, 21 

Name: Liberty Poole

Age: 21

Location: Birmingham

Occupation: Nando’s Waitress and Marketing Student

Who is their type on paper? ‘So I like tall, alpha male, confident, a cheeky chappy sort of guy. 

‘But obviously that’s always usually combined with player types, which is where I go wrong. So I am trying to change my ways and go for more of a nicer guy that is going to treat me right.’ 

 

Hugo Hammond, 24

 Hugo Hammond, 24  

Name: Hugo Hammond

Age: 24

Location: Hampshire

Occupation: PE Teacher

Who is their type on paper? ‘I’ve been single for a while now. With the current climate, it’s been really hard to get back into dating. 

‘I saw it as an opportunity to have an amazing fun summer and put myself back out there.’

 

Shannon Singh

Shannon Singh

 Name: Shannon Singh 

Age: 22

Location: Fife 

Occupation: Glamour model

Who is their type on paper? ‘I don’t feed off looks, I feed off energy, I need someone with personality. Just someone I can have fun with.

‘I’m a party girl, I love going out, I’m very social. For me it’s quite hard to find people who are genuine and looking for what you’re looking for’

Jake Cornish

Jake Cornish

 Name: Jake Cornish

Age: 24

Location: Weston-super-Mare

Occupation: Water Engineer

Who is their type on paper? ‘Looks wise, always gone for blondes. But for me, the main thing is having respect and having good fun, and someone who will be loyal to you…

‘I’ve had messages from girls that have got boyfriends and husbands. This is why I don’t trust anyone. Someone who is loyal really. But when I’m single, I like having a good time!

Kaz Kamwi

Kaz Kamwi

Name: Kaz Kamwi

Age: 26

Location: Essex

Occupation: Fashion Blogger

Who is their type on paper? ‘I like meeting new people, I’m ready to be in a relationship. Why not be in a place where people are looking for the same things as me?’ 

Chloe Burrows

Chloe Burrows

Name: Chloe Burrows

Age: 25

Location: Bicester

Occupation: Financial Services Marketing Executive

Who is their type on paper? ‘I like a good build. I go to the gym. I want someone who is funny. Really funny and caring and will do nice little things for you. 

‘And then obviously someone who you can depend on to not ditch you. Because I am quite a big character and quite loud, they would have to be as loud, if not more. 

‘I could never be with someone who is quiet. Someone that gives you a bit back’

Faye Winter

Faye Winter

Name: Faye Winter

Age: 26

Location: Devon

Occupation: Letting Manager  

 

Brad McClelland

Brad McClelland

Name: Brad McClelland

Age: 26

Location: Northumberland

Occupation: Labourer

Who is their type on paper? Sommer Ray from Instagram. Zara McDermott, she’s a good-looking lass. Or Megan Fox.

Toby Aromolaran

Toby Aromolaran 

Name: Toby Aromolaran

Age: 22

Location: Essex

Occupation: Semi-pro footballer

How would he describe himself? ‘Optimistic. I always see the bright side in the worst situations. I’m a fun guy when I go on a night out. Responsible guy as well.’ 

 

Earlier this month, Love Island boss Amada Stavri teased the 2021 line-up and promised that it will be ‘diverse and inclusive’. 

However, the ITV commissioner said at the time that including gay Islanders was a ‘logistical difficulty’ due to the format of the dating show.

Love Island has previously been slammed by fans, and former contestants, for lack of different ethnic backgrounds, body types and members of the LGBT community represented on the show.   

Speaking to RadioTimes, the ITV commissioner said: ‘We’re always very mindful of diversity and inclusion and hopefully you’ll see that when we announce the line-up.’  

Stavri added: ‘In terms of gay Islanders, I think the main challenge is regarding the format of Love Island. There’s a sort of logistical difficulty, because although Islanders don’t have to be 100 per cent straight, the format must sort of give [the] Islanders an equal choice when coupling up.

Promises: Earlier this month, Love Island boss Amada Stavri teased the 2021 line-up and promised that it will be 'diverse and inclusive' (pictured 2018 cast)

Promises: Earlier this month, Love Island boss Amada Stavri teased the 2021 line-up and promised that it will be ‘diverse and inclusive’ (pictured 2018 cast)

‘With our dating shows, such as The Cabins, there is much more sexual diversity. The formats don’t have as much restrictions as Love Island. So we’re very sort of mindful of that across our programming on ITV and dating series. But that’s the difficulty with Love Island.’  

In March, 2017 contestant Montana Brown called for greater diversity on Love Island and insisted it is ‘unhealthy for people to just see size 8s chomping around in their bikinis’.

The swimwear brand owner, 25, also stated: ‘I wanna see more people of colour’ while concluding that ‘with regards to racial diversity and body diversity, there’s always room for improvement’ on the programme.

Speaking on What Day Is It? podcast, Monata was quizzed about how progressive Love Island is.

She admitted: ‘I feel like, as a mixed race person, you’re always in a minority, especially on a show like that. It’s not something that I necessarily thought of while I was in the show.  

Line-up: However, the ITV commissioner said at the time that including gay Islanders is a 'logistical difficulty' due to the format of the dating show (the 2019 line-up pictured)

Line-up: However, the ITV commissioner said at the time that including gay Islanders is a ‘logistical difficulty’ due to the format of the dating show (the 2019 line-up pictured) 

Making history: The programme has featured bisexual contestants in the past, including Megan Barton-Hanson, Katie Salmon and the late Sophie Gradon (pictured together in 2016)

Making history: The programme has featured bisexual contestants in the past, including Megan Barton-Hanson, Katie Salmon and the late Sophie Gradon (pictured together in 2016)

‘I’ve had quite a privileged upbringing. I grew up in quite a white area so I’ve always been in the minority anyway. So it’s something that I didn’t feel uncomfortable with.

‘But I definitely think with regards to racial diversity and body diversity there’s always room for improvement.’  

The programme has featured bisexual contestants in the past, including Megan Barton-Hanson, Katie Salmon and the late Sophie Gradon – who became the show’s first-ever same-sex pairing in 2016.    

The Love Island 2021 contestants were revealed on Monday, with a slew of singletons from all walks of life preparing to enter the Majorcan villa next week.    

The pandemic resulted in last year’s series being postponed and fans are eagerly awaiting the new series following the ITV2 juggernaut’s extended break. 

Slammed: Love Island has previously been slammed by fans, and previous contestants - including Montana Brown, pictured, for lack of different ethnic backgrounds, body types and members of the LGBT community represented on the show

Slammed: Love Island has previously been slammed by fans, and previous contestants – including Montana Brown, pictured, for lack of different ethnic backgrounds, body types and members of the LGBT community represented on the show  

Each confirmed contestant will be given thorough psychological and medical assessments by health experts before, during and after the series as part of new duty of care protocols.  

Every Islander must fully disclose their medical history to ensure the environment of the villa is suitable. The 2021 summer series will be hosted by Laura Whitmore who featured in the show’s big teaser advert last week. 

The 2021 summer series will be hosted by Laura Whitmore who featured in the show’s big teaser advert last week.

The hit ITV2 dating show has not aired since February 2020 after both the summer 2020 and winter 2021 editions were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.   

Love Island returns on Monday June 28 at 9pm on ITV2 and the ITVHub.   

Important: In March, 2017 contestant Montana, 25, called for greater diversity on Love Island and insisted it is 'unhealthy for people to just see size 8s chomping around in their bikinis' (pictured on the show in 2017)

Important: In March, 2017 contestant Montana, 25, called for greater diversity on Love Island and insisted it is ‘unhealthy for people to just see size 8s chomping around in their bikinis’ (pictured on the show in 2017)  

Love Island duty of care protocols in full – ahead of 2021 series   

Pre-filming and filming

  • Registered mental health professional engaged throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare. 
  • Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and reports from each Islander’s own GP to check medical history. 
  • Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose any medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them.  
  • Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear. 
  • Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them. 
  • Senior Team on the ground have received training in Mental Health First Aid. 
  • A welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.

Aftercare 

  • Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home. 
  • A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be offered to each Islander when they return home. 
  • Proactive contact with Islanders for a period of 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable. 
  • We encourage Islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.

 



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