Love Island: Ofcom to take no action over misogyny complaintson August 30, 2022 at 1:24 pm

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Media regulator Ofcom will not uphold thousands of complaints about alleged “controlling” behaviour.

Love Island boysImage source, PA Media

Ofcom has decided to take no action over thousands of complaints about alleged misogynistic behaviour on this summer’s Love Island.

The regulator received nearly 7,500 complaints about the eighth series of the ITV2 dating show.

Viewers and charity Women’s Aid highlighted issues including bullying and coercive control.

But Ofcom said negative behaviour “was not shown in a positive light” and it would not pursue the complaints.

About 3.4 million people watched the show’s finale but there were complaints throughout its run about the treatment of contestants.

The bulk – about 3,600 in a single week – came in the wake of the regular Casa Amor segment, which sees islanders separated into separate villas alongside “bombshells” tasked with tempting them away from their established couples.

Contestant Luca, who accused his partner Gemma of “flirting” with Casa Amor bombshell Billy, came in for most criticism. He was defended by his family at the time and has since said he apologised off-screen for his behaviour.

‘Carefully assessing complaints’

Ofcom said it had decided not to take action after “carefully assessing complaints about this series on a range of issues including alleged misogynistic and bullying behaviour”.

The broadcast watchdog said it “recognise that emotionally-charged or confrontational scenes can upset some viewers” but the “negative behaviour in the villa was not shown in a positive light.”.

It said the reality show’s format was well-established and “viewers would expect to see the highs and lows” as couples’ relationships were tested.

Luca Bish and Gemma Owen

Image source, PA Media

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What were some of the complaints about?

Ofcom received 7,482 complaints over the course of the summer Love Island’s viewing with the main ones being:

  • 2,481 were made about the show’s movie night episode relating to alleged misogynistic behaviour by some of the male contestants
  • 1,497 viewers alleged bullying among the contestants, and raised ongoing concerns about behaviour from the male contestants that they considered to be misogynistic in July.
  • On the 17th July there were 1,493 complaints against misogyny, emotional abuse and coercive control by the male contestants. With a further 957 viewers complaining over alleged behaviour that was abusive, misogynistic and manipulative.
  • Whilst, 203 viewers objected to Luca’s presence in the final and voting procedures.
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Domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid previously spoke to BBC Newsbeat about the show’s “misogynistic and controlling behaviour” after it was tagged in many social posts.

Another domestic abuse charity, Refuge, tweeted that “the misogyny and casual sexism witnessed on this series… is extremely concerning”.

At the time, ITV said it was “always looking at how we expand and evolve on this training”.

BBC Newsbeat has approached ITV for comment on Ofcom’s announcement.

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