It’s not the first time Love Island has been accused of normalising misogyny
As Love Island moves into its second month on air, women’s charities up and down the UK have announced their concerns over yet more “bullying” and “controlling behaviour.” The majority of the concerns are associated with Luca’s interaction with his Love Island partner, Gemma. Other red flags come from islanders Luca and Dami, who have been bullying Tasha. Women’s Aid, a grassroots organisation taking on domestic violence has had a lot to say about the disgusting behaviour shown on the ITV reality series.
In a statement on Twitter, Women’s Aid mentioned: “So many young people watch #LoveIsland, making it a show that will influence their understanding of what is acceptable in relationships. We are happy to be in conversation with @ITV about what we can do to address this.” Although it appears that Love Island producers are open to learning and discussing the behaviour of the contestants, it hasn’t helped park the fury of fans up and down the country, who were “sickened” and “disgusted” by what they have witnessed on screen.
Despite there being many triggering moments in the episodes, the main controversy came from a scene where Luca displayed a series of abusive comments, which were both passive and openly aggressive, as well as demonstrating misogynistic and controlling behaviour. Luca’s inappropriate outburst came from the revelation that his partner, Gemma, had been flirting with another contestant, Billy. Most fans were in agreement on social media that in the first instance, even if Gemma had been flirting, it did not warrant the abuse received by Luca. But fans also shared the opinion that Gemma didn’t do anything wrong in the first place. Regardless, the misogyny demonstrated on TV must serve as an opportunity to educate the public on how to handle emotions in a proper way. And this is exactly what Women Aid is attempting to do in their talks to ITV.
Luca’s family, who are also monitoring his social media while he is in the Majorcan villa, also shared their disappointed thoughts on his actions. “When he watches it back, he will be embarrassed and deeply apologetic,” they said on social media. The family then offer an apology: “I want to apologise on behalf of Luca and his incentive reaction on last night’s episode.” They continue: “we as a family don’t condone his behaviour last night, but we do understand he is an intense environment where his emotions were heightened. Last night was not reflective of the boy we all know and love at home.”
Over the years, Love Island has had its fair share of criticisms. Whatever your thoughts on the show, it is one of the most watched series on British television, and therefore holds quite a powerful position in society. It is important that the moments of bullying and misogyny are dealt with in a responsible way by producers. And, it is also important that we learn from the mistakes that we see on TV, otherwise, we run the dangerous risk of normalising them.