We’ve been watching, talking and writing about Love Island all summer. It’s the show we found highly problematic and entertaining in equal parts, and one of those problematic aspects – you know aside from the language, privilege and gaslighting – was the lack of body diversity.
Many people felt that the show provided unrealistic body ideals – especially coupled with the plastic surgery ads that were shown in the breaks, and the show faced a backlash.
Now, ITV's digital controller Paul Mortimer has defended the show’s casting decisions by saying they ‘make no excuses’ for having attractive men and women on the semi-staged TV show this summer.
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV festival Mortimer said; 'If you want to look like the guys on Love Island you have to work out.'
'I think on the body image thing, we cast very attractive people, it's a sexy show.
'It is entertainment on ITV2 and in the same way Hollywood casts a certain type to get bums on seats in theatres or other shows. For us it's a very aspirational programme for our audience. [It's the] perfect holiday they can only aspire towards.'
Mortimer may have slightly missed the point here, of course everyone knows that these shows aim to cast ‘attractive’ people, but to completely dismiss the uproar is a little short-sighted.
The body positivity movement isn’t going anywhere, people are quick to call shows out for not being representative, and champion those that try to be inclusive. Love Island might need to rethink its casting process, or at least take the complaints seriously if it doesn't want to face more uproar in the future.
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