South Africans are a special bunch. On Sunday, the local version of Love Island debuted on M-Net and social media users have been shading it ever since.
“Love Island Orania” has been trending in the top 5 on Twitter. Similarly to the channel’s other reality show, The Bachelorette, the show seems to be lacking in the diversity of the contestants.
Love Island is a popular reality TV competition. The idea is that a bunch of young, hot singles are flown out to an tropical setting where they compete for each other’s affection. Because it’s on an island, everyone is scantily clad. Sex sells and whatnot. Viewers also get a chance to pair up who they believe to be the best romantic matches.
Plus, South Africans and watching Sunday reality TV together through Twitter just goes together. So, it’s understandable that the local spin-off of this kind of show would draw many an eyeball.
What isn’t understandable is why the cast does not include more races in a country that is still grappling with the effects of apartheid. Twitter users have been vocal about their disdain for what appears to be a deliberate attempt to reduce the diversity settings.
Love Island SA is definitely a silly dating show but I think it’s weird to pretend people are dumb or unreasonable for wanting reality shows with SA casts to be a bit more reflective of SA’s population— Ann Marie Lastrassi stan (@naledimashishi) March 1, 2021
So where are Indian people, Black people and Coloured people. Thought this is a "Rainbow National". Ja neh!! Surely this is definitely Love Island Orania ??— Lorato Muse (@LoratoMuse) March 1, 2021
It’s only been a few hours since the show has aired and M-Net’s social media manager probably already has a headache.
As we wait for the channel to address these concerns - if they will address them at all - it appears some people are optimistic:
The great part about Love Island Orania is that M-Net can actually rectify this as the show goes on by adding more black, Indian and coloured folks. It's a real easy fix, but we'll need to see if they actually follow through on some of the show's biggest criticisms.— ????? IG: ilikebrandon (@i_likebrandon) March 1, 2021