Drag Race UK star Cheryl Hole has called for better LGBTQ+ representation on reality dating shows.
In an interview with The Mirror, Hole spoke about the lack of queer contestants on dating shows like Love Island.
“Whilst there has been a lot of progression in LGBTQ+ representation in television and film, there is still a long way to go in my opinion,” she exclaimed.
“We’ve seen shows like The Bi Life on E! with Courtney Act before but I do feel it’s about time for a dating show for our community. I love TV shows where people are just wanting to find love.
“I think it’s a common ground where everyone wants to feel loved and be loved and I just think there needs to be more love and happiness in the world for sure.”
Over the years, fans of Love Island have asked for more LGBTQ+ representation on the series.
Earlier this year, a report from the Daily Star claimed the ITV series was accepting applications from both queer and straight singletons.
However, last month ITV boss Amanda Stavri released a statement saying gay Islanders would present a “logistical difficulty.”
“There’s been quite a few rumours circulating about featuring gay Islanders, so it’s worth touching on that really,” Stavri told Radio Times. “The line-up will be announced within time and it goes without saying that we want to encourage greater inclusivity and diversity.”
“While it’s not imperative for the Islanders to identify as 100 per cent straight, Stavri said the format of the show would provide an obstacle for queer contestants as it “must sort of give [the] Islanders an equal choice when coupling up.”
She continued: “With our dating shows, such as The Cabins, there is much more sexual diversity. The formats don’t have as much restrictions as Love Island.
“So we’re very sort of mindful of that across our programming on ITV and dating series. But that’s the difficulty with Love Island.”
Earlier this year, former contestant Megan Barton-Hanson – who identifies as bisexual – said her time on Love Island’s fourth season would have been a “completely different experience” if the producers cast more LGBTQ+ people.
“It didn’t even enter my head, I just assumed that every girl on there was completely straight,” Megan said at the Cambridge University Union for their debating society.
“Logistically, I don’t know how it would work if they just chucked in a few token gay people in there. I feel like we need a whole gay series. If you’re going to do it, do it properly. I mean, I’d definitely go back on there if there’s a gay season!’”