Women’s Aid in talks with Love Island producers over contestants’ ‘misogynistic’ behaviour

The male contestants were criticised for their treatment of the girls on the show

Kate Ng
Tuesday 19 July 2022 20:58 BST
Love Island: Luca 'eggs on’ boys in Casa Amor during movie night challenge

Women’s Aid has confirmed it is in talks with Love Island producers to address “controlling and misogynistic” behaviour on display in recent episodes.

The popular ITV2 reality dating show received backlash for the male Islanders’ treatment of the female contestants.

In recent episodes, fans of the show watched as 23-year-old Luca Bish encouraged the other boys to be unfaithful while the girls were at Casa Amor.

However, he became angry at partner Gemma Owen and accused her of encouraging Billy Brown to flirt with her, which she denied.

Fans also came to the defence of Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu after her partner, Davide Sanclimenti, repeatedly accused her of being a “liar” in rows although he had kissed someone else in Casa Amor.

Other boys in the villa who also received criticism included Dami Hope, for dismissing Summer Botwe and calling her “fake”, as well as Jacques O’Neill, who called Paige Thorne “pathetic” before he exited the villa.

Following Monday (18 July) night’s episode, Women’s Aid said it had been tagged in “a stream of Twitter posts, with viewers of Love Island highlighting the misogyny and controlling behaviour being shown on screen”.

The organisation told Metro: “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.”

Women’s Aid confirmed it is in “discussion with the team at Love Island about how we can work together moving forward, to address the issues and concerns raised”.

It comes after Bish’s family apologised on his behalf for his behaviour during the movie night challenge on Sunday (17 July).

They shared a post to Instagram Stories saying they did not condone his behaviour and apologised for his “insensitive reaction”.

“We as his family don’t condone his behaviour, but we do understand he is in an intense environment where his emotions are heightened. Last night was not reflective of the boy we all know and love at home.”

Domestic abuse charity Refuge also released a statement on Monday (18 July) and said: “The misogyny and casual sexism witnessed on this series of Love Island is extremely concerning.

“The double standards, gaslighting and coercive control being displayed by the men in the villa is hugely problematic.”

In May, ITV published its extended duty of care protocols for Love Island, which included training and guidance for the Islanders covering inclusive language around disability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, behaviours and microaggressions.

Ade Rawclifee, group director of diversity and inclusion at ITV, said at the time: “The world we live in is changing every day, and we want all of our Islanders to feel they are part of an inclusive environment in the villa.

“As part of our duty of care process, it is also important we play our part in educating our participants to understand and empathise with different perspectives and lived experiences.”

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