News – Women’s Aid in talks with ITV about Love Island after ‘misogyny and controlling behaviour’

A domestic abuse charity says it is talking to ITV about the current season of Love Island after claims instances of misogynistic and controlling behaviour have been displayed on the popular dating show.

Women’s Aid said it was forced to intervene after being tagged in so many social media posts about the show by concerned viewers.

Teresa Parker, Women’s Aid communications chief, said the charity was “being tagged into a stream of Twitter posts, with viewers highlighting the misogyny and controlling behaviour being shown on screen”.

“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,” Ms Parker told the Metro.

The charity added it is “really positive” to be in discussion with the Love Island team to help address the issues raised.

This year’s series has provoked a backlash from viewers over the way some of the male contestants are acting towards the women.

Over the last few days, one of the male contestants Luca Bish has accused his partner Gemma Owen of “flirting” with newly-arrived contestant Billy Brown.

She has insisted that she wasn’t interested in him in Sunday’s episode, denying she was “entertaining” Billy’s advances.

Another contestant Dami Hope has also been criticised for shouting at Summer and describing her as “fake” after he shared a three-way kiss with her and another female contestant.

Italian business owner Davide Sanclimenti – who kissed two girls during Casa Amor, which is another villa in the show where contestants are introduced to new people – has been criticised for branding Ekin-Su Culculoglu a “liar” during their regular arguments.

It had previously emerged she had been sneaking off to spend time with Jay Younger shortly after he had arrived in the villa.

As well as viewers of the show expressing concerns, Refuge, another domestic abuse charity, has said it is increasingly worried about the “misogynistic and abusive behaviours being displayed in this year’s series”.

Ruth Davidson, Refuge CEO, urged producers of the show to recognise and respond to any abusive behaviour, with the show having a large following of young people, who may be particularly impressionable.

“Popular culture has an important role to play in challenging these behaviours rather than perpetuating them,” she said.

“Gaslighting and emotional manipulation are types of behaviour that can displayed by perpetrators of domestic abuse. Coercive control is a form of domestic abuse and is a crime.

“That this behaviour appears to be being carried out by some men in the villa and broadcast as entertainment is extremely troubling and should be called out.”

An ITV spokesperson said welfare is of the greatest concern to them and psychological support is always there for the contestants should they need it.

“We cannot stress highly enough how seriously we treat the emotional well-being of all of our Islanders,” a statement read.

“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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