Comment

Is Love Island doing enough to represent diversity on TV?

ITV reported the recent launch of the show’s seventh season amassed 3.3 million viewers. Credit: ITV
As ITV’s ‘Love Island’ returns to television screens this week, critics maintain that the popular reality TV show is lacking in representation.

By Vicky Witts | Head of Comment

ITV’s ‘Love Island’ has returned to television screens this week after an 18-month break due to coronavirus restrictions.

According to ITV press centre, the recent launch of the show’s seventh season amassed 3.3 million viewers across all streaming devices, stating that the show as a whole is the “most watched digital channel programme of the year” for the 16–34-year-old demographic.

With a following of this size, it is perhaps no surprise that the show has faced significant criticism in the past, most prominently in the ways that the show’s casting has been accused of lacking diversity. Critics have previously suggested that there is not a wide-enough diversity of contestants being selected for the show, especially regarding factors such as sexuality, body-types, and disabilities.

How have Love Island producers attempted to create more diversity?

In an effort to respond to these criticisms, the show has attempted to represent a wider range of people, which is notable in the latest season with Hugo.

During this year’s announcement of the contestants, it was revealed that the PE teacher was the first to have a physical disability – being born with a club foot. Following the reveal of this news, Hugo stated that “you can only really tell when I walk barefoot. I’ve got a really short Achilles’ heel. I walk slightly on my tiptoes”.

On one hand, the presence of a contestant with a physical disability may be seen as a huge step towards a more diverse casting on the show in the future. The presence of Hugo in this year’s line-up could potentially have positive implications to the future of diversity on the show, particularly in the case of individuals with disabilities, as it shows that the producers have responded somewhat to viewers concerns, and attempted to represent disability on the show, where it has not been before. This could indicate that the show is making positive steps towards creating a more inclusive atmosphere.

On the other hand, however, there have still been complaints targeted towards the producers of the show, suggesting that they are not making enough effort to engage with diversity on a larger, more representative scale.

Has the show done enough to respond to concerns?

Across social media, it has been highlighted that the majority of contestants on the show are heterosexual, able-bodied, Caucasian people with similar body types. Whilst the presence of Hugo on this year’s show has attempted to address concerns about the representation of disability, it is clear when looking at the line-up that other issues, such as body-type in particular, have not been considered.

The show has been criticised heavily online for creating unrealistic body expectations, by only representing a very limited range of body types. Bosses on the show have responded to these concerns by stating that all of the contestants within the 2021 show have “a healthy BMI”, but members of the public are still critical, suggesting that there should be the presence of plus-size contestants on the show.

Race is another issue that has come under fire recently, in terms of the fact that many people feel that Love Island is not diverse enough in the races that it represents, and some have even implied that the show may encourage racism within dating.

Members of the public have observed that often within the show there are patterns in the ways that non-white contestants are portrayed and interacted with, posing questions about whether the show enforces racist ideas, or if it simply highlights problems of racism within western dating culture itself.

It has been noted that often black contestants are picked last in ‘coupling ceremonies’, and that there have been moments where comments have been made that are considered to be insensitive to people of different races. For example, the official Love Island Twitter account was criticised when it Tweeted: “Gonna tell my grandkids this was Princess Jasmine and Aladdin” about contestants Nas and Siânnise on Season 6.

It is clear from social media responses, however, that many people feel that the Love Island producers have not responded to the concerns posed to them about the diversity of the contestants on the show.

Whilst the introduction of contestants such as Hugo in the latest season have begun to start a movement towards a more inclusive culture on the show, it is evident that Love Island is still a long way from being truly diverse, and completely representative of the whole of the 3.3 million viewers who tune in to watch the show each season.


Mae ‘Love Island’ ITV wedi dychwelyd i sgriniau teledu yr wythnos hon ar ôl toriad o 18 mis oherwydd cyfyngiadau coronafeirws.

Yn ôl canolfan y wasg ITV, mae lansiad diweddar seithfed tymor y sioe wedi cronni 3.3 miliwn o wylwyr ar draws pob dyfais ffrydio, gan ddweud mai’r sioe yn ei chyfanrwydd yw “rhaglen sianel ddigidol fwyaf poblogaidd y flwyddyn” ar gyfer demograffeg 16–34 oed.

Gyda dilynwyr o’r maint hwn, efallai nad yw’n syndod bod y sioe wedi wynebu beirniadaeth sylweddol yn y gorffennol, yn fwyaf amlwg yn y ffyrdd y cyhuddwyd castio’r sioe o ddiffyg amrywiaeth.Mae beirniadol wedi awgrymu o’r blaen nad oes amrywiaeth ddigon eang o gystadleuwyr yn cael eu dewis ar gyfer y sioe, yn enwedig o ran ffactorau fel rhywioldeb, mathau o gyrff ac anableddau.

Sut mae cynhyrchwyr Love Island wedi ceisio creu mwy o amrywiaeth?

Mewn ymdrech i ymateb i’r beirniadaethau hyn, mae’r sioe wedi ceisio cynrychioli ystod ehangach o bobl, sy’n nodedig yn y tymor diweddaraf gyda Hugo.

Yn ystod y cyhoeddiad eleni am y cystadleuwyr, datgelwyd mai’r athro Addysg Gorfforol oedd y cyntaf i gael anabledd corfforol – cael ei eni â throed clwb.Yn dilyn datgelu’r newyddion hyn, dywedodd Hugo “mai dim ond pan fydda i’n cerdded barefoot y gallwch ddweud.Mae gen i daflen Achilles fer iawn. Rwy’n cerdded ychydig ar fy nhaith”.

Ar y naill law, gellir ystyried bod presenoldeb cystadleuaeth ag anabledd corfforol yn gam enfawr tuag at fwrw mwy amrywiol ar y sioe yn y dyfodol.Gallai presenoldeb Hugo yn y llinell eleni fod â goblygiadau cadarnhaol i ddyfodol amrywiaeth ar y sioe, yn enwedig yn achos unigolion ag anableddau, gan ei fod yn dangos bod y cynhyrchwyr wedi ymateb rhywfaint i bryderon gwylwyr, ac wedi ceisio cynrychioli anabledd ar y sioe, lle nad yw wedi bod o’r blaen.Gallai hyn ddangos bod y sioe yn cymryd camau cadarnhaol tuag at greu awyrgylch mwy cynhwysol.

Ar y llaw arall, fodd bynnag, mae cwynion wedi’u targedu o hyd at gynhyrchwyr y sioe, gan awgrymu nad ydynt yn gwneud digon o ymdrech i ymgysylltu ag amrywiaeth ar raddfa fwy, fwy cynrychioliadol.

A yw’r sioe wedi gwneud digon i ymateb i bryderon?

Ar draws y cyfryngau cymdeithasol, tynnwyd sylw at y ffaith bod y rhan fwyaf o’r cystadleuwyr ar y sioe yn bobl heterorywiol, abl, Caucasian sydd â mathau tebyg o gyrff.Er bod presenoldeb Hugo ar y sioe eleni wedi ceisio mynd i’r afael â phryderon am gynrychiolaeth anabledd, mae’n amlwg wrth edrych ar y llinell nad yw materion eraill, megis y math o gorff yn benodol, wedi cael eu hystyried.

Mae’r sioe wedi cael ei beirniadu’n drwm ar-lein am greu disgwyliadau corff afrealistig, drwy gynrychioli ystod gyfyngedig iawn o fathau o gyrff yn unig.Ymatebodd Bosses ar y sioe i’r pryderon hyn drwy ddweud bod gan bob un o’r cystadleuwyr yn sioe 2021 “BMI iach”, ond mae aelodau o’r cyhoedd yn dal i fod yn feirniadol, gan awgrymu y dylid cael presenoldeb cystadleuwyr o faint a mwy ar y sioe.

Mae hil yn fater arall sydd wedi dod o dan dân yn ddiweddar, o ran y ffaith bod llawer o bobl yn teimlo nad yw Love Island yn ddigon amrywiol yn y rasys y mae’n eu cynrychioli, ac mae rhai hyd yn oed wedi awgrymu y gallai’r sioe annog hiliaeth o fewn dyddio.

Sylwodd aelodau o’r cyhoedd fod patrymau yn aml o fewn y sioe yn y ffyrdd y caiff cystadleuwyr nad ydynt yn wyn eu portreadu a’u rhyngweithio â hwy, gan ofyn cwestiynau ynghylch a yw’r sioe yn gorfodi syniadau hiliol, neu a yw’n tynnu sylw at broblemau hiliaeth o fewn diwylliant dyddio gorllewinol ei hun.

Nodwyd bod cystadleuwyr du yn aml yn cael eu dewis ddiwethaf mewn ‘seremonïau cyplu’, a bod adegau wedi bod lle mae sylwadau wedi’u gwneud sy’n cael eu hystyried yn ansensitif i bobl o wahanol rasys.Er enghraifft, beirniadwyd cyfrif Twitter swyddogol Love Island pan drydarodd: “mynd i ddweud wrth fy wyrion dyma oedd y Dywysoges Jasmine ac Aladdin” am y cystadleuwyr Nas a Siânnise ar Season 6.

Mae’n amlwg o ymatebion y cyfryngau cymdeithasol, fodd bynnag, fod llawer o bobl yn teimlo nad yw cynhyrchwyr Love Island wedi ymateb i’r pryderon a ofynnwyd iddynt am amrywiaeth y cystadleuwyr ar y sioe.

Er bod cyflwyno cystadleuwyr fel Hugo yn y tymor diweddaraf wedi dechrau dechrau symud tuag at ddiwylliant mwy cynhwysol ar y sioe, mae’n amlwg bod Love Island yn dal i fod ymhell o fod yn wirioneddol amrywiol, ac yn gwbl gynrychioliadol o’r 3. 3 miliwn o wylwyr sy’n tiwnio i mewn i wylio’r sioe bob tymor.

Victoria Witts Comment

 

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

css.php