Ex-Love Island star AJ Bunker slams ITV show for lack of diversity as series kicks off

Former Love Island star AJ Bunker slammed the current series' line-up as she criticised ITV bosses for the "lack of diversity."

The reality star, 30, appeared in the 2021 series of the show, which was won by Millie Court and Liam Reardon, and has now slammed the lack of diversity in the show's casting.

AJ, full name Andrea-Jane, asked: "Where's the Asian representation once again? Like where are my people?" The former Islander explained: "Look, I'm going to be honest, the line-up looks amazing, they're beautiful, they look fun.

She continued: "In my season they put me and Sharon [Gafka] in, which was good. But I feel like every line-up there's just not much representation for the Asian community.

Speaking to The Mirror, AJ added: "They didn't have any Asian people in the last season, not one throughout the whole of the show."

AJ added that the popular ITV2 dating show will "always get stick" unless they decide to start casting more diverse line-ups.

"It's just one of those things that annoys me, it's like producers are not learning from previous line-ups" she finished.

OK! has contacted ITV for comment.

AJ also appeared on the show with Priya Gopaldas, who has also discussed the lack of diversity in reality shows in general, including Love Island.

Speaking to OK!, Priya said: "I think we need more diversity on reality TV shows, especially Asian representation, more women of different sizes and more women who aren’t cosmetically enhanced.

"I believe this would encourage young girls to aspire to be their natural selves."

Viewers at home took to social media to express their thoughts on the reality show's lack of diversity during Monday night's series premiere, with one tweeting: "I’m absolutely not sold on any of these #loveisland they’re all there for one singular reason and it ain’t love. Also nice to see a bit of diversity…….oh wait."

Another asked: "Why is tanya the only black girl in the villa…we need more diversity pls #LoveIsland" and a third said: "Low key disappointed at the lack of diversity in this years Love Island #LoveIsland."

Others have praised the show for its push for more diversity, with recent series having greater racial diversity than years prior. Three of the show's current contestants are Black or mixed race.

Biomedical science student Tanya Manhenga was the first singleton to be announced for the new series, and is currently coupled up with Shaq Muhammed. And former islander Indiyah Polack is co-hosting the official Love Island podcast, and will be appearing as a regular panellist on spin-off show Aftersun.

The current winter edition has also included a disabled contestant for the third series in a row, with the casting of Ron Hall, who is partially sighted.

Speaking to press, including OK!, the 25 year old said that he hopes to to inspire other partially sighted young people during his time on the show.


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