Love Island star Megan Barton Hanson has said she would “definitely” return to the villa if there was a LGBT series. (Instagram/@meganbartonhanson_)
Love Island star Megan Barton Hanson has said she would “definitely” return to the villa if there was a “whole gay series” of the show.
Hanson, who is openly bisexual, came in fourth place on season four of Love Island which aired in 2018. Since her time on the hit reality series, Hanson has been open about her sexuality and her struggles. She revealed in 2020 that she received horrific homophobic comments from her brother’s girlfriend – including being called a “big, fat lesbian” – when she began dating women.
But Hanson has continued to live as her authentic self, and she’s now said she would happily join an LGBT-inclusive version of Love Island should it ever happen. Speaking at the Cambridge Union’s debating society, said she would “definitely” return to the ITV2 show, but worried about the logistics of airing a gay dating show.
She explained that she would have had a “completely different experience” on Love Island if there had been openly “gay people on the show”. Hanson added: “It didn’t even enter my head, I just assumed that every girl on there was completely straight.”
“Logistically, I don’t know how it’d work if they just chucked a few token gay people in there,” Hanson said. “I think we need a whole gay series.”
She continued: “If you’re going to do it, do it properly! I’d definitely go back on there if there’s a gay season.”
Hanson also added that she is “passionate” about increasing bisexual representation on TV shows. She explained that she felt like TV producers would “pick one bisexual girl” to ‘chuck’ onto a show. Hanson worried this hypothetical bi woman would “get with a girl for one minute and then get with a guy and then that’s it, done”.
“I feel like that’s definitely not good enough – we need a whole gay season,” Hanson argued. “Because it just wouldn’t work, chucking in a few gay guys, gay girls into a straight show, it’s not gonna work.”
She said she felt like reality shows are going the “bare minimum” in terms of bisexuality representation, and she wanted to see more LGBT-inclusive narratives “from UK reality TV”.
Love Island announced earlier this month that it will welcome LGBT+ contestants for the upcoming 2021 series, which will return to TVs in June. Producers told the Daily Star that they are open to any single of any sexuality who is looking for love – so long as they’re over 18.
The show has been trying to be more LGBT+ inclusive in the past. Love Island creator Richard Bowles said in 2017 that he wanted to produce a more diverse version of the dating show but said it would be difficult to carry out under the show’s current format.
“You are trying to create couples,” he said. “It is not impossible and it is not something that we shy away from… but there is a logistical element which makes it different.”