Love Island continues tonight, with recent episodes sparking concerns around the male Islanders' "misogynistic and controlling" behaviour.
The notoriously provocative Movie Night challenge saw huge fallouts, with complaints lodged about the male contestants' actions.
Luca Bish was at the centre of the complaints. The 23-year-old accused Tasha Ghouri of using her boyfriend Andrew Le Page in order to make it to the final, before accusing his own partner Gemma Owen of flirting with fellow contestant Billy Brown. Despite this, he appeared to laugh openly at the female contestants when his male friends were caught being unfaithful.
While Owen repeatedly insisted that she hadn't crossed a line, Bish continued to interrogate her, with viewers warning that he was displaying signs of misogyny and gaslighting.
"Luca laughing at the boys' behaviour while simultaneously being fuming at Gemma for SPEAKING to another man?" tweeted one viewer. "The misogyny of this year is wild. Luca needs to get on a flight home and couple up with Jacques."
His family have since apologised on his behalf, stating: "We as his family don't condone his behaviour last night, 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."
Other male contestants who have come under fire for recent misogynistic behaviour are Davide Sanclimenti who repeatedly called partner Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu a liar for experimenting in Casa Amour despite the fact that he had done the same. And Dami Hope, who called his ex partner Summer Botwe "fake" and appeared to imply that their connection was in her head.
Following the online concern, domestic abuse charity Women's Aid publicly called out the behaviour, confirming that they were in conversation with Love Island producers over the show's duty of care.
"At Women’s Aid we are being tagged into a stream of Twitter posts, with viewers of Love Island highlighting the misogyny and controlling behaviour being shown on screen," Teresa Parker, head of communications and media relations at Women’s Aid, explained to Metro.
She continued: "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. 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."
Women's charity Refuge also released a statement, posting: "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."
This comes after the controversial decision by Love Island producers to bring back 2018 contestant Adam Collard, criticised during his first appearance on the show for his treatment of women and accused by some viewers of emotional abuse.
In fact, at the time, Women’s Aid, used Adam’s behaviour as a warning of abuse and gaslighting, speaking out just weeks ago as he returned.
"In the 2018 series of Love Island, we saw Rosie rightly call out Adam for his unacceptable behaviour, which included gaslighting and emotional abuse," Teresa Parker explained to Yahoo News UK. "We hope that ITV producers recognise how serious this issue is and that it must be learned from, considering they have asked Adam to return to the show."
She continued: "Love Island is watched by many young people and we know what a huge influence it has. Producers must make sure there is support for contestants throughout, and intervene if relationships become unhealthy or abusive.”
It is clear that something needs to be redressed.
We will continue to update this story.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse helpline is available to call, on 0808 2000 247.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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