Love Island 2019 bosses spark fresh body image controversy as they defend new cast

Show execs criticised for blaming lack of diversity on attraction

Love Island 2019 logo

Love Island bosses have responded to criticism about this year's new cast.

The wildly popular dating contest has consistently attracted criticism for its Instagram-perfect representation of body image.

Reports had suggested there would be a change of attitude this year - but it seems that's not the case.

The launch islanders for the new series were revealed on Monday, with more of the same toned torsos.

Now the broadcaster has attempted to justify Love Island's refusal to expands its horizons.

Creative director Richard Cowles says bosses cast that particular type because they want contestants "to be attracted to one another".

"First and foremost, it’s an entertainment show," he commented at a press event this week (quotes via Radio Times).

"It’s about people wanting to watch who you’ve got on screen falling in love.

"Yes, we want to be as representative as possible but we also want them to be attracted to one another.

"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."

Despite the complaints about a lack of body diversity, ITV director Studios' Angela Jain claimed the line-up represents "different types of people".

"What we’ve tried to do again is have a huge range of personalities, people, hoping there’s someone in there for everyone and a slice of British life," she insisted.

"Hopefully lots of different types of people are represented."

There has since been a heated backlash from social media users, who branded the execs' comments a 'PR fail'.

"This is so much more offensive than not responding," one person wrote on Twitter.

"So basically saying people can't be attracted to a non conforming size, if you're larger you can't find love. Appalling," another said.

However, others suggested that one or two token plus-sized islanders could struggle in the villa.

"I’d find it more sore watching them all leave the bigger one out," read one tweet.

Several late arrivals, known as 'bombshells', are due to join the original twelve throughout the run.

Love Island's fifth series begins on Monday at 9.00pm on ITV2.

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