Is Love Island just White Island?

Early press articles about Love Island are justly asking questions about an apparent lack of diversity on the show.

Nine’s cast photos looks whiter than an episode of The Block, with gorgeous 6-packed & curvaceous singles, who could have easily stepped out of a swimwear catalogue.

There are 10 contestants announced thus far, one of whom has a Lebanese-Australian background. The format, which sees couples hook-up and break-up, injects new contestants across its run. There is no set number on how many, nor how often participants are eliminated. Nine is believed to still be open to casting.

But in an era of same-sex marriages and diversity charters (which all networks have signed) dating shows which skew to stereotypes, and heterosexuals-only, run the risk of criticism or potentially alienating sectors of the audience. When TV is already struggling to hold its audience that’s a risk.

Last year Nine Network’s head of content production and development Adrian Swift acknowledged that networks have too often failed to represent who Australians really are.

“We are very aware of that. We acknowledge that our casting lags the reality of the demographic changes in Australia,” he said.

“I think we are addressing it; we’re addressing it slowly but we will die if we do not reflect the audience in the stories we tell.”

A Nine spokesperson said, “We cast a wide net to find contestants and with applications open throughout the series for new Islanders, we encourage all Australians from any background to apply for Love Island Australia via:

Love Island did ask applicants about sexual orientation, but is remaining silent on whether any gay participants will appear on the show. Sources suggest that’s unlikely given the format requires multiple participants in order to facilitate the necessary coupling.

In the UK, where the show has enjoyed 3 hit seasons since its revival, sexual identity has also been a question.

UK Executive Producer Richard Cowles previously told MailOnline: “The format doesn’t really allow it. If you’re familiar with the programme, it’s about coupling and recoupling.”

Two females who identified as bisexual weren’t supposed to get together with members of the same sex, but they did anyway.

Love Island UK 2017

Meanwhile Seven’s Take Me Out, hosted by Joel Creasey, is another show where multiple singles form part of its gameplay but will also not feature gay couples.

TEN’s Blind Date, hosted by Julia Morris, is open to the idea in its casting process and has featured LGBT contestants in its UK version.


  1. Diversity is overrated and not a new phenomenon (my first workplace 40 years ago was a veritable united nations). If this trash does not accord with your leftist view of the world then grab the remote and send a message…switch it off!

  2. great more people who arent celebrities will be treated like celebs on radio and shows is there 15 seconds of fame over #realitytvsucks

  3. Being a white Australian of way back British stock, married to an Asian lady, I cannot see any or many ladies, or should I say ‘females’, degrading themselves to appear in Lust Island. It’s a cultural thing that would highly embarrass many families to see their daughter exposed to this meat market.

  4. I suspect that the all-white casting is more about the target audience and overseas sales. Nine could have divided the island into white/black/asian/rastafarian if they thought it would rate. This is not “partner for life” but “which partner tonight”. Indulge your fantasies before the cheesecake melts and the beefcake sags.

  5. The movie Black Panther with 1.3 billion box office taking prove that people don’t want to just see white people on TV. And I imagine most TV execs know that. Love Island is all just silly fun nonsense TV, I would imagine that a lot of every type of race were like “nah, I don’t really want to hook up with multiple people on the TV for everyone to see. I’ll just watch it instead”. Casting wouldn’t have been easy I imagine.

  6. Representation matters to people. If you don’t see it you can’t be it. Diversity works on Masterchef, MKR, The Voice, Googlebox (even the Housewives franchise) and other Australian produced reality programs because it reflects Australia as it is. The issue with Love Island is that it has only cast white people in their promo material. Maybe there isn’t a group in Australian culture more willing to go on a dating show as white middle class millennials, but there are plenty of diverse Australian’s on Instagram they could have chosen. Casting diversity makes sense because it rates and it freshens it up. This would be a missed opportunity for Nine not to cast some people of colour to differentiate it from Bachelor in Paradise. But if the plan is to dilute the Bachelor brand, then they are doing a bang up job because these people all look interchangeable.

  7. Maybe other cultures,races etc have different value systems and don’t apply for trash sexualised reality TV. Mind you are people applauding the diversity on Masterchef this year….I haven’t seen one article praising this. Double standards….never praise just negativity.

  8. jezza the first original one

    I agree about the lack of diversity. There are no older blokes given a chance here, so it’s ageist. There are no blokes with a beer gut, they’ve all got 6/8/10 packs. It’s outrageous and things have gotta change

  9. Here we go again. Why not select people based on their DNA instaed of looks. I bet that everyones DNA is some sort of mixed race. Problem solved.

  10. I don’t quiet understand the criticism of Love Island Australia. There’s clearly Lebanese Girl. And more people arrive on the Island as the series goes on

  11. Not every single show needs to be inclusive. Plenty of black only shows, I don’t complain (if you can’t find any try Netflix). Some would say it would be racist to say Africa needs to be diversified with White people and every show on the continent made to feature White people.. but you know, people supporting diversity tend to be unable to escape the group think. They are building an ugly future & just don’t have the intellectual independence to see it.

  12. i agree with not throwing in token gays/queers into these sort of shows. That actually perpetuates stereo types because the producers choose the most stereo typically ‘gay acting’ people that don’t necessarily reflect true diversity. But yeah, there should be cultural diversity, i also find it hard to believe there were no other non white/anglo people applying to be on the show.
    On the plus side, the promo seems pretty honest, it screams ‘Sex Island’ & ‘ ‘this is trash tv & you’re gonna love it’. People will be watching to check out the meat & have a gossip/bitch about the contestants. They haven’t tried to make it sound like it’s a ‘social experiment’ of any seriousness unlike other trash tv type shows such as MAFS etc.

  13. Does everything need to be taken so seriously? I’m sure necker was being a bit tongue im cheek with that comment. I’m a white male and thought it was funny.😆 Tbh i really didn’t think about it being so white (well, bronzed really) in the promos. Was just too consumed by the guys and which one/’s i will be um…tuning in for. I’ve settled on Justin.👌

  14. The hypocrisy is many viewers would salivate over two supposedly straight girls deciding to get it on with each other instead but if two blokes decided to do the same there would be outrage over tastelessness and dishonesty.

  15. The format of the show requires straight people, I understand that. But it doesn’t require white people only! Pathetic effort frankly.

    • Your comment presumes that non white people were not selected.. maybe they were and turned down the offer.. you cant just presume cause there are no asians or blacks on the show that the producers didnt pick them.. but hey throwing generalisations and poor me play the victim comments will make you feel like you have contributed

      • timmydownawell

        This kind of show would attract participants from central casting… promo models and the like. They can’t all be white? But like The Block it kind of harks back to Nine casting blonde weather presenters at Kerry Packer’s behest.

        As for gay guys, not practical for them to cast two token gays in the hope they would hook up. You’d need a whole gay version of the show. Now there’s an idea…

    • The funniest irony with the militant left is they want everyone to be equal and not based on race colour or religion.. but then they use race colour and religion to have a whinge.. if they say we are all equal then why does it matter if there are no blacks or asians on the show.. we are all one people according to the equality mogement of the left

        • Then if your going to identify race and colour as an issue thats not equality .. we are all human.. i was talking with colleagues today about love island and some are Asian 1 is aboriginal and no one raised the lack of colour diversity.. but now you have gone on about it people will and that will cause division just like it has with the replies to this post.. i commend you for that

          • No it’s not equality, that’s the point being raised. The opening sentence notes press articles are discussing the casting. TVT often comments on how media report TV, hopefully with added context and info as here. Thanks for feedback.

  16. On the contrary, I think the casting of these types of shows reflect the mentality of the demographic that will apply to be on these shows. It’s actually a compliment.

    • Necker that is a great example of reverse racism in your comment! Does so much to help bridge the gap and educate people to be open to diversity when u make out white people must have a low mentality to apply.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.