LottoStar pulls ‘Love Island SA’ sponsorship amid ‘lack of diversity’ outcry

The cast of 'Love Island SA'.
The cast of 'Love Island SA'.
Image: Twitter/Love Island SA

LottoStar announced on Tuesday they have withdrawn as a sponsor of M-Net’s latest dating reality show, Love Island SA, amid controversy around the show’s alleged lack of diversity and bad production.

Love Island SA landed on the Twitter trends list this week when angry fans expressed their disappointment and claimed “the rainbow nation” was not well represented.

Amid the outcry, the lottery games website took to their official Twitter to announce their decision to withdraw their sponsorship of the show. They did not give a reason for the decision.

“LottoStar has taken the decision to respectfully withdraw its sponsorship of Love Island SA. We wish the show and its contestants every success,” the statement from the LottoStar director read.

LottoStar is also a sponsor for The Bachelorette SA which airs on M-Net and is produced by the same production company, Rapid Blue.

M-Net later issued an apology on their Twitter, promising to do better.

“You called us out on the lack of diversity and production quality in our first episode of Love Island SA. We’re sorry — we didn’t meet our usual standard on both counts. We are working tirelessly to fix things and to deliver the magic you deserve.”

The channel’s broadcaster, DStv, earlier sent a statement to TshisaLIVE in which they apologised for technical issues on the show but insisted it reflected “diversity and inclusion” on all its shows.

“We pride ourselves in reflecting diversity and inclusion for all our shows, including Love Island. The many channels and thousands of programme hours we produce are testament to this.

“Viewers can be assured this will become more apparent in future episodes of Love Island SA. We hope viewers will keep watching to enjoy the new stars of the show who will be arriving over the next few days.

“We understand viewers’ disappointment in relation to the production quality and would like to apologise for the technical issues experienced yesterday [Sunday] and are working hard to resolve them,” said DStv spokesperson Sbu Mpungose.

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