Temptation Island's James Reflects On The Cast's Diversity - Exclusive

It's safe to say that fans don't expect a ton of substance when tuning into reality dating shows — they're escapism television, after all — but viewers do expect a program's cast to reflect society's diversity at large. We all bore witness to "The Bachelor" franchise dealing with a lack of racial diversity among its cast, and to say that the production's tactics went awry is a grave understatement. A leading contestant got majorly called out, former contestants made their truths known, the longtime host was forced out — it was just a mess all around. Did other reality dating shows take notice? It seems so, because "Temptation Island" — starring the lovely James Patterson among other romantic hopefuls — boasted a diverse Season 4 cast that didn't feel forced. It simply brought people of all different backgrounds together, all of them searching for love.


As Season 4 airs on USA, we got the chance to sit down with Patterson for an exclusive interview, where we chatted about his upbringing as a self-described Army brat, his experience on the show, and his plans for the future. During our time, Patterson brought up his desire to host a podcast revolving around fitness, lifestyle, and "controversial topics." Naturally, the topic of diversity on "Temptation Island" arose, and Patterson shed light on the filming experience.

James' childhood experiences enabled him to chat with everyone on set

James Patterson's experience as a kid was unlike most — with a parent in the military, Patterson moved around quite a bit as a youngster, and while that could have posed a challenge, the fitness guru embraced the experience and learned to converse with people from all walks of life. As a result, Patterson's experience on "Temptation Island" was directly impacted by his ability to chat with anyone and everyone, and when discussing the show's diversity, Patterson brought up his personable traits.


"I thought the show was very diverse," he began. "I feel like I'm not like your normal person. I'm a bigger guy. I got long curly hair, green eyes. I feel like I stick out for most people, so I was a part of that diverse cast." Bringing up contestant Iris Jardiel, who is Filipino American, Patterson pointed out that the show brought a wide variety of contestants from different walks of life.

"There [were] a few African American people on the show as well, and then me being mixed Black and white, it was very diverse," he further explained. "I liked it. I like conversing with all different kinds of people, so I thought they did a good job with that."

The Temptation Island star's main focus was personality

"Temptation Island" is all about putting love to the test, and for James Patterson, he was solely focused on getting to know people for who they were, not for looks, ethnicity, life experience, or anything of the sort. In our exclusive sit-down, the newly minted reality star pointed out that, in his opinion, younger generations don't "really look at race anymore when they're dating" and instead embrace "different backgrounds and cultures." What's more is that in Patterson's perspective, no contestant on "Temptation Island" Season 4 "had a problem" with the cast's diversity.


"At the end of the day for me, if you're cool, you're cool. If I find you attractive, I find you attractive. I look at people's hearts and whether or not I find them attractive," Patterson shared. "Maybe it's just me, but when I was on the show, I wasn't thinking, 'Oh nice. They brought on a Filipino American girl, a Black girl, a Black dude.' ... This show, it was very authentic, and if they were trying to be diverse in their cast and who they casted, I think they did a good job."

You can catch new episodes of "Temptation Island" on USA on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m.