ITV’s Paul Mortimer, the boss of Love Island, has defended the decision to cast only slim, attractive people on the hit ITV2 dating show, saying it is “aspirational.”
The programme has received a backlash this year over a lack of diversity among its cast.
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, he said: “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, the Strictly dancers or whatever …
“Also for us it’s a very aspirational programme for our audience. (It’s the) perfect holiday they can only aspire towards.
“It comes along at a time when people are readying for holiday, a week in Magaluf or whatever, and we’re showing them the best example of what they could have.
“We cast sexy people, we’re a sexy channel. Those people, by the way, they work quite hard. There’s a gym, we show people working out.
“There’s also another conversation going on about childhood obesity. If you want to look like the guys on Love Island you have to work out.
“We make no excuses that people more beautiful than us are entitled to go into a villa for eight weeks and find love.”