Love Island: OfCom takes no action after thousands of misogyny and bullying complaints

·3-min read
The 2022 Love Island contestants (ITV/PA)
The 2022 Love Island contestants (ITV/PA)

Ofcom will not further investigate thousands of complaints about the eighth series of Love Island saying “negative behaviour in the villa was not shown in a positive light”.

The broadcast watchdog revealed they received 7,482 complaints about the popular ITV dating show across its eight weeks.

Complaints related to “alleged misogynistic and bullying behaviour” by some of the male contestants, while others were centred around “alleged misogyny, emotional abuse and coercive control”.

Among the more than 7,000 complaints received, the highest volume was 2,626 for an episode which aired on July 17, of which 2,600 related to perceived misogynistic behaviour.

During the episode, the contestants had a movie night where they were shown video clips of antics which had occurred when the couples had been tempted by newcomers to the villa.

The episode got particularly heated when Luca Bish expressed his frustration after claiming one of the clips showed his partner Gemma Owen flirting with new boy Billy Brown.

 (PA Media)
(PA Media)

Another episode which was aired on July 19 saw the islanders take part in a Snog, Marry, Pie challenge where they revealed who they would kiss, marry or hit in the face with a cream pie.

During the episode, dancer and model Tasha Ghouri was left in tears over comments Dami Hope and Bish made before delivering a pie to her face.

Ofcom said they received 1,497 complaints in relation to this episode about “alleged bullying among the contestants, and raised ongoing concerns about behaviour from the male contestants that they considered being misogynistic”.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “We carefully assessed complaints about this series on a range of issues including alleged misogynistic and bullying behaviour.

“We recognise that emotionally charged or confrontational scenes can upset some viewers. But, in our view, negative behaviour in the villa was not shown in a positive light.

“Viewers saw other islanders condemning the behaviour and offering advice and support, as well as scenes where apologies were made.

“We also took into account that the format of this reality show is well established and viewers would expect to see the highs and lows as couples’ relationships are tested.”

Contestant Tasha Ghouri (ITV)
Contestant Tasha Ghouri (ITV)

Last month during a media briefing for ITV’s interim financial results, ITV boss Kevin Lygo said the broadcaster planned to “sit down and review” the popular dating series.

Lygo, ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment, said: “To get five million people to watch a show every night at 9 o’clock is extraordinary in the modern era, so something is being done right.

“But you are right, we must always look to improve and work on what we have done. But we are very happy with the way it has gone so far.”

The latest series of Love Island ended on August 1 with Turkish actress Ekin-Su Culculoglu, 28, and Italian business owner Davide Sanclimenti, 27, crowned as winners.

ITV recently announced there will be two series of the show in 2023 – a winter series in South Africa and a summer series in Majorca.

The show’s host Laura Whitmore announced recently that she will not return as host, saying in a post on Instagram that there were “certain elements of the show” she had found difficult “that cannot be changed some due to the format, including the flying back and forth to South Africa along with my new conflicting projects”.

ITV has been contacted for comment.