Calling out the controversies of Love Island 2019

Fans all over the country are tuning in to watch a group of singles find love – but is it all that it seems?

It is without question that Love Island is entertaining – from the failed romances to the catty drama, the awkward love triangles to Iain Sterling’s stellar commentary, you can’t help but get invested. However, this year’s season has caused intense backlash with hundreds of fans all over social media, and it isn’t as simple as your favourite girl not choosing your favourite boy in a recoupling. Supposedly, there have been hundreds of complaints to broadcasting company OFCOM, regarding two main issues that have taken place on the show.

Firstly, Joe Garrat, 22 – when he and Lucie Donlan, 21, first coupled up, it was adorable. Cute surfer girl meets sandwich maker (and lookalike 2018’s Eyal). Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst only a few days in. When Lucie was sent on a date with Tommy Fury, 20, heavy weight boxer who, yes, is related to the Tyson Fury, Joe didn’t like it. He stated that he felt he couldn’t trust Lucie even though it had only been a few days of being coupled up and also only a few days of knowing each other. Fans all over Twitter expressed how this was strange, with some highlighting that this behaviour was an extreme red flag.

Up until present, Lucie and Tommy have remained friends, with Tommy seemingly smitten with 20-year-old Molly-Mae Hague. However, Joe remained somewhat wary as he brought up the issue again, suggesting that Lucie should ‘change’ and start to hang around the female contestants more as opposed to Tommy.

Women’s Aid published an article about the issue, warning of early red flags in a relationship. As a young woman watching the show, I can only sympathise with Lucie and suggest that Joe’s behaviour is completely unreasonable. Men should never feel like they have the right to tell a woman who she can and can’t be friends with – in 2019, you’d think a grown woman can do as she pleases in terms of her friendships, so it is understandable as to why Joe received such backlash.

Despite this, it has to be noted that you only see one hour out of a whole day, and the show heavily edits footage. From what we saw, it wasn’t a nice side of Joe, but in a recent interview with The Sun, he claims he only has Lucie’s best interests at heart.

Another issue the show saw concerned Tommy Fury and new girl Maura Higgins, 28. The ring-girl was seen lying on the boxer, asking if he wanted a kiss. When he said no, she proceeded to try and get one anyway, with it landing on his cheek. Fans flocked to Twitter to express their feelings of disgust and discomfort at what they were calling a “sexual assault”. For me, it was completely uncalled for and Maura was entirely in the wrong – consent is needed 100 percent from both parties at all times, so the fact she continued with her raunchy behaviour only made things worse.

If you’ve ever watched the show, I’d say it’s clear to see that most of the contestants are quite self-centred, used to getting what they want and don’t like being told no. From the perspective of a watcher, I’d say Maura isn’t often turned down and therefore took it upon herself to continue with her actions. Many fans wanted the ring-girl to be axed from the show after the appalling stunt, with OFCOM receiving almost 500 complaints.

Even without the inexcusable actions of these two participants, it must be said that this season is the worst – there isn’t as much harmless drama, and frankly, there aren’t any couples that stand out, as with previous seasons.

There was more outrage when it was finally exposed as to why 20-year-old Sherif Lanre was kicked from the show. Sherif revealed that he agreed to leave the show after a play fight with fellow contestant Molly-Mae ended with him accidentally kicking her in the groin and saying the words “c*** punt”. He assured that it was all in jest at first and he didn’t mean to offend or hurt Molly-Mae. This incident reminded everyone of last year, when Ellie Brown used the same obscene language during an argument with Georgia Steel. Ellie wasn’t immediately removed from the villa for obscene language – so why was Sherif?

The show, in my opinion, really engrains self-esteem issues in a younger audience. I’ve watched the show and thought myself too fat, too much body hair, teeth not straight enough before, and I’m nearly twenty-one, so I hate to imagine how it affects a younger audience – let alone an older one.

Winning £50,000 is masked by the premise of ‘finding love’ and the show’s diversity ends when the one token ‘plus-size’ contestant is thrown into the mix. I watch it to keep up with the buzz on Twitter, but if the show was taken off air, one of my silent prayers would be answered. The show is – more or less – toxic, and this year’s season is even more so than ever before. You can watch Love Island on ITV 2, but to be honest, I wouldn’t recommend it.

By Jasmin Bodman

Feature image credit: ITV

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