Women’s Aid calls out ‘misogyny and controlling behaviour’ on Love Island

·2-min read
Male contestants on the 2022 series of Love Island on ITV 2  (PA)
Male contestants on the 2022 series of Love Island on ITV 2 (PA)

Anti-domestic abuse organisation Women’s Aid has spoken out against the “misogyny and controlling behaviour,” seen on recent episodes of Love Island.

The charity was tagged into a stream of Twitter posts with language used by male participants judged to be “unacceptable”.

Recent examples include Luca Bish’s sweary outburst, accusing partner Gemma Owen of flirting with another contestant - despite her protestations that she was not - while Davide Sanclimenti has repeatedly branded his love interest Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu a “liar”.

On Sunday’s episode of the ITV 2 reality series, Dami Hope called Summer Botwe “fake”.

Teresa Parker, head of communications and media relations at Women’s Aid, said: “At Women’s Aid we are being tagged into a stream of Twitter posts, with viewers of Love Island highlighting the misogyny and controlling behaviour being shown on screen.

“This is clearly more than talking about any individual contestants, and a programme based around the formation of romantic relationships must have guidelines on what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable in those relationships.”

She added: “We are talking to ITV, and they have shared with us information on their inclusion training, but what appears to be missing is specific information on abusive relationships and an understanding of controlling behaviour in relationships. It is vital that producers know when to intervene and challenge unacceptable behaviour.

“Women’s Aid has offered to help, and we want to assure people tagging us into posts that we are in conversation with ITV and the Love Island producers about what we can do moving forward to help address this.”

Women’s Aid has recently launched its campaign Come Together to End Domestic Abuse and has called on ITV to use its platform to promote positive attitudes.

The nightly show is now six weeks in and is set to conclude in early August. It is one of the most popular shows on ITV and regularly brings in at least 4.5million viewers. However, it has attracted controversy for staging conflict while four people linked to the show have died by suicide.

ITV has said: “We cannot stress highly enough how seriously we treat the emotional well-being of all of our islanders.

“Welfare is always our greatest concern, and we have dedicated welfare producers and psychological support on hand at all times, who monitor and regularly speak to all of the islanders in private and off camera.

“Ahead of this series, contributors on the show were offered video training and guidance covering inclusive language around disability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, behaviours and microaggressions. We are always looking at how we expand and evolve on this training to ensure that all of our Islanders feel they are part of a safe and inclusive environment.”

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