Love Island: Joe Garratt's friends defend dumped contestant over gaslighting allegations

Accusations deemed 'unfair' and 'non-representative'

Sarah Young
Wednesday 19 June 2019 09:39
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Joe and Elma both dumped from Love Island as public picks to break up two couples

The friends and family of Love Island contestant Joe Garratt have defended his behaviour on the show.

On Tuesday, the 22-year-old became the latest star to be dumped from the villa after he failed to win a public vote that saw viewers choose his partner, Lucie Donlan, to remain in the competition.

Shortly after, a post was shared on Garratt’s Instagram account by his friends in which they claimed he had been shown on the programme to fit a "certain narrative".

The post read: "Speaking on behalf of Joe's best friends, we acknowledge Joe will come out to some warranted criticism.

"However, we deem the majority of it to be unfair and non-representative of Joe's true character.

"The producers have the ability to show someone in a particular light, choosing just 45 mins of footage from 24 hours to tell a certain narrative."

The comments follow criticism of Garratt’s behaviour towards fellow contestant Lucie Donlan after he questioned her friendship with boxer Tommy Fury, calling it "strange" and "disrespectful", adding: "I think it’s time for you to get close with the girls".

Following Sunday night’s episode of the ITV2 reality show, 302 viewers complained to broadcasting watchdogs Ofcom.

Fans of the show also accused Garratt of "gaslighting" on Twitter – a term used to describe a form of emotional abuse where one person gradually manipulates another in order to gain control.

Domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid also weighed in on the situation, explaining that "controlling behaviour is never acceptable".

"With Love Island viewers complaining to Ofcom in record numbers about Joe’s possessive behaviour towards Lucie, more people are becoming aware of this and want to challenge it," said Adina Claire, co-chief executive of Women’s Aid.

"Abusive relationships often start off with subtle signs of control, so it’s important that it is recognised at an early stage.

"Love Island viewers are now very vocal in calling out unhealthy behaviour between couples on the show, and this is a positive development."

Responding to Women's Aid's statement, a spokesperson for Love Island said: "We take the emotional well-being of all the Islanders extremely seriously.

"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, especially if someone appears to be upset. All the Islanders are therefore fully supported by the professionals on site and by their friends in the villa.

"This means Islanders are always able to reach out and talk to someone if they feel the need.

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"We will of course continue to monitor all of our Islanders in line with our robust protocols. Love Island holds a mirror up to relationships and all the different dynamics that go with them."

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse in a relationship, call the Freephone 24/7 National Domestic Violence Helpline, run by Women’s Aid in partnership with Refuge, on 0808 2000 247 or visit www.womensaid.org.uk.

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