Zara Holland lost her title as Miss Great Britain after video showed her having sex on the reality show Love Island, but fans are now trying to help get it back.
The episode aired Wednesday and showed Holland in bed with 24-year-old Alex Bowen, a fellow contestant. The reality competition didn’t actually show the two having sex, but comments from the two made it clear what had taken place.
The blowback for Holland was almost immediate. Miss Great Britain organizers issued a statement saying that they were removing her title.
“We pride ourselves on promoting the positivity of pageants in modern society and this includes the promotion of a strong, positive female role model in our winners,” they said (via the Guardian).
“The feedback we have received from pageant insiders and members of the general public is such that we cannot promote Zara as a positive role model moving forward. We wholly understand that everyone makes mistakes, but Zara, as an ambassador for Miss Great Britain, simply did not uphold the responsibility expected of the title.”
Zara Holland chose to remain on the show after losing her title, and told her fellow contestants that she regretted her decision.
Love Island certainly does its part to promote romance between contestants. The Guardian noted that the show places 1,000 condoms around the villa where contestants live, and their success in the show depends mostly on their ability to hook up with other contestants.
“Contestants face a ‘race against time’ to couple up, with anyone who stays single in danger of being eliminated from the show and missing out on the £50,000 cash prize.
“New features on the show this year include an outdoor gym and a redesigned hideaway for couples’ ‘one-on-one action’.”
Though the decision to strip Zara Holland of her title was controversial, Miss Great Britain organizers said the punishment was not taken lightly and that Holland knew what she was getting into.
“We gave our permission for Zara to enter, as our current winner, under the stipulation that she did not have sex on TV,” pageant organizers said (via the Daily Mail). “Zara fully agreed to this and knowingly went against our wishes.”
The organization also stressed that the decision was not one made with sexist intentions.
“Zara is a lovely girl, we understand that this is out of character for her and that she truly regrets her actions; however, the decision simply comes down to the fact that she has broken the rules of the competition.”
But there is now an effort among Love Island fans to get Miss Great Britain to reconsider the decision. An online petition started by Dell Bennett calls on the organization to reconsider and give Zara another chance.
“I think it is a harsh punishment stripping her of her title for a silly little mistake and for only being human. I am aware that having a title like that comes with responsibilities and I for one think she has been absolutely amazing, she has shown she is a strong positive person, we have to remember she is still a young lady and what happened was only natural. I think she should be given a second chance as Miss Great Britain!”
The Miss Great Britain organization has not said if it might reconsider returning the title to Zara Holland after her televised sex on Love Island, but the group did say it would meet with her once she is out of the house to “to fully explain our decision and will wish her the very best going forward.”
[Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP Images]