Love Island accused of promoting bullying as Maura says taunting made her ‘feel like s***’

Olivia Petter
Thursday 13 June 2019 22:48 BST
Love island Maura feeds Michael a banana

Love Island viewers have accused the show of promoting bullying after Thursday's episode showed the female contestants taunting newcomer Maura Higgins while she was on a date with fellow islander Michael Griffiths.

While Griffiths spoke to Higgins, who had only just arrived in the villa, several of the other female contestants watched on from the balcony. As the date went on, the women began shouting “Michael!” and asked teasingly if he was enjoying his dessert.

Higgins described their behaviour as “very immature”. After further taunts, the 28-year-old ring girl said, “I’ll give them something to talk about,” before spoon-feeding Griffiths a piece of banana from her plate, prompting screams from the women on the balcony, who included Anna Vakili, Yewande Biala, Molly-Mae Hague and Amber Gill.

Griffiths pointed out that when Mae entered the villa last week, “nobody treated her like this”.

“They’re actually shouting down at me,” Higgins replied. “It’s making me feel like s***”.

The women’s actions have prompted criticisms on social media, with viewers accusing Love Island of encouraging “bitchy” behaviour.

"This is bullying. @ITV @LoveIsland really?" tweeted one person. "You're going to air bullying as entertainment?"

Another added: "ITV appear to be promoting bullying here."

When confronted by the other contestants, Mae dismissed the women's behaviour as “banter”.

"The worst kind of people try to pass off bullying as banter," tweeted one person in response to her comment.

Another argued: "It's not banter. It's intimidation."

The Independent has contacted ITV for comment.

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