Love Island bosses recruit the show’s first ever plus size contestant as they line up model Jada Sezer amid criticism for a lack of diversity
Love Island bosses are reportedly looking to recruit plus-sized model Jada Sezer for this year’s line-up in a bid to promote diversity on the show.
The 30-year-old model, who soared to prominence last year when she ran the London Marathon in her underwear, is said to be on the list of hopefuls for producers to provide diversity to the show amid previous criticism.
Insiders told Mirror: ‘Previous years have been criticised for a lack of diversity among contestants. This year producers are determined to have more variation… They want all shapes and sizes taking part – not just a stream of identikit men and women.’
Love Island has been shrouded in controversy of late, following the suicide of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.
As well as criticism for the after-care provided on the show, fans have previously hit out at the lack of diversity on the show in regard to body image.
Jada, who hosts a podcast promoting body confidence, is said to be the perfect candidate for the show to help change-up the looks on the show.
The insider continued: ‘Given the nature of the show, it’s important the contestants feel body confident as they spend so much time wearing skimpy clothes or bikinis as they sunbathe and hang out by the pool.
Jada would be a perfect choice because she is passionate about body positivity – and even appeared on Good Morning Britain in her underwear before running the marathon…
‘Producers have been talking at length with her and are hopeful they might feature her later in the series.’
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Jada for comment.
Jada previously said: ‘I’m a size 16 and I’ve always been a size 16. This is my natural weight and I’ve been able to make a career from it…
‘If I was to stop liking cake and lost weight then I would probably lose clients because when you get down to a size 14/12 it can be harder to get jobs.’
The bid for diversity comes after ITV revealed key changes to their duty of care processes including enhanced psychological support and social and financial training following reality star deaths.
The channel was accused of hypocrisy after Jeremy Kyle was axed following the suicide of one of its guests. But Love Island will continue to be filmed, despite former contestants Sophie and Mike sadly taking their own lives.
ITV have said that they have evolved their duty of care processes to protect contestants going forward ahead of the show’s launch on June 3.
In a statement, they wrote: ‘The production team have continued to evolve their processes with each series, as the show’s popularity has risen and the social and media attention on Islanders has increased.
‘The key changes this year are – enhanced psychological support, more detailed conversations with potential Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show, bespoke training for all Islanders on social media and financial management and a proactive aftercare package which extends our support to all Islanders following their participation.’
Creative Director ITV Studios Entertainment Richard Cowles said: ‘We’re very excited that Love Island is back for another series…
‘It is the nation’s favourite dating show and we have a fabulous new cast of young singles all looking for love and ready for a summer of romance in the iconic Love Island villa…
‘The format of the new series will be familiar to Love Island viewers and we can’t wait to see how the new Islanders take to life in the villa and how relationships blossom.
‘We hope that viewers will be hooked as they watch these young singles fall in love – hopefully it will be a summer to remember for both the Islanders and our viewers.’
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