Love Island SA has been plunged into further crisis with the show’s primary sponsor opting out after the production was slammed for racial discrimination, writes Oliver Keohane.
These updates, outside of the continued (and justified) ridicule of the production, include a withdrawal of the show’s sponsor, LottoStar, and an official statement from producers, M-Net.
“LottoStar has taken the decision to respectfully withdraw its sponsorship of Love Island SA. We wish the show and its contestants every success”, said the director of LottoStar in a statement.
No explanation needed LottoStar, we all understand. Less insightful is M-Net’s response to criticism.
“You called us out on the lack of diversity and production quality in our first episode of Love Island SA. We are sorry. We didn’t meet our usual standards on both counts. We are working tirelessly to fix things, and deliver the magic you deserve,” was their response to the drama.
Why does a South African television giant have to be called out, post-production, on something that is not open to interpretation? Lack of diversity is not an opinion, it is a statistical fact.
As for production value, I would expect my DStv subscription to be reduced by half if this is what is on offer.
M-Net has fallen on the crutch of “ignorance”. Rubbish and simply not good enough considering South Africa’s immediate context. Even more mind-boggling is the weak promise that the show will “diversify” in episodes to come. I call cop-out.
Most recently, M-Net has removed all repeat episodes from DSTV Catch Up, the Saturday omnibus as well as the Love Island Unseen Bits which had been scheduled for Sunday.
Though Twitter circulation has rightfully reduced the show to nothing more than a comedy, the glaring racial exclusion and shocking production value presented is no joke.
The question now becomes, M-Net, where is the magic promised?