The creative director of Love Island, Richard Cowles, has caused controversy ahead of the show's premiere on Monday by suggesting that the reason there is a lack of body diversity on the show is because contestants need to "be attracted to one another".
The director suggested they need the contestants to be attracted to one another
Speaking to Radio Times about the lack of plus sized contestants on the show, Richard said: "First and foremost, it's an entertainment show and it's about people wanting to watch who you've got on screen falling in love with one another. Yes, we want to be as representative as possible but we also want them to be attracted to one another. Also, we're not saying that everyone that's in there is how you're supposed to look. We're saying here's a group of people that we want to watch for eight weeks, and we want to watch them fall in love. That's not at the front of our mind, but we do want to be as diverse as possible."
Fans were shocked by his comments
Fans of the show were shocked by his comments, with one person writing: "Imagine the horror is one of those ripped lads would be attracted to someone like me, I mean TV land would completely fall apart!" Another person added: "Are you [expletive] kidding me? How is ok for senior TV executives to talk like this?" The new series of the show has already received a fair amount of controversy after some people called for it to be cancelled after the deaths of two contestants.
Love Island has since updated its care of duty process, and Caroline Flack spoke about the criticism, telling Cosmopolitan: "It's dangerous and I'm really, really angry. It's not just that you're blaming a TV show, you're blaming people and their jobs. In life we all have a duty of care to look out for each other, but I don't think it's fair to point fingers of blame. This is a much bigger issue than just a reality TV show, and when something this bad happens - and I'm talking about Mike - when something this horrible and sad occurs, it's so dangerous to point fingers within hours and minutes of it happening."