Love Island are asking gay and lesbian contestants to apply to season 7
12 April 2021, 11:49
Love Island are looking to diversify the show with LGBTQ+ contestants in their brand new season.
Love Island has long been criticised for excluding the LGBTQ+ community from the show but that now looks set to change.
After their longest break yet, Love Island is finally set to return to our screens on June 28, 2021 and ITV are currently holding open casting calls in which people can apply to take part in season 7. After one season in South Africa, the hit show will be returning to Majorca, Spain with Laura Whitmore remaining as host. However, there will be one major change to the format.
In past seasons, Love Island has included almost exclusively heterosexual contestants and avoided same-sex pairings. However, there are now reports that Love Island season 7 will have gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer contestants.
According to the Daily Star, producers have confirmed that they are "open to any applicant who is looking for love so long as they are over 18". They also report that ITV are "accepting applications from both gay and straight singletons" and the show has even teamed up with Tinder to help find as diverse a selection of new Love Island contestants as possible.
The Daily Star continue to say: "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."
Just last year, Love Island USA faced backlash for removing contestant Noah Purvis from the show after it came to light that he had previously worked in gay porn. Past UK contestant, Megan Barton-Hanson, who is bisexual, has also opened up about how she didn't feel comfortable coming out when she was on the show.
Love Island did previously have one same-sex couple-up in season 2. Openly bisexual contestant Katie Salmon paired up with Sophie Gradon. However, there have been no same-sex couples since.
It's currently unclear how Love Island intends to include LGBTQ+ contestants in its format but we can't wait to see.