Women’s Aid criticises Love Island for ‘disregarding women for entertainment’

Women’s Aid has criticised Love Island for “disregarding” its female cast members ahead of the new series launching tonight.

On Monday, the domestic violence charity tweeted: “Real women at the heart of these storylines shouldn’t be disregarded for entertainment.

“We are in contact with women who have been on reality TV & have experiences that were traumatic & avoidable. Producers must consider their duty of care. #LoveIsland.”

The new winter series of the reality TV show, hosted by Maya Jama, is set to air tonight on ITV2.

The warning from Women’s Aid comes after last year’s series generated more than 7,000 complaints to the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, with around 2,500 of those related to alleged misogyny from male contestants.

Meanwhile, ex-Love Islanders have said that they faced severe trolling on social media following their time on the show.

Earlier this month, former contestant Coco Lodge revealed that she experienced “brutal” comments following her time on the show last summer.

Speaking to De Mode, the 27-year-old said: “I also have had to deal with the bad side of now being in the public eye, especially with social media trolls and negative press which has felt hard at times especially when they have been so brutal about my appearance, which sometimes makes you question yourself.

“Since coming out of the Love Island villa to so much hate and negativity I have made it a goal of mine to get so successful just to prove all the haters wrong.

“I find throughout the whole experience in a backhanded way it’s made me love myself more than I did prior to the show because I’ve had to build myself up since coming out from the show and learn that regardless of anyone’s opinion I have to love myself and all my features and imperfections that I put in a spotlight for people to crucify, I chose this decision and I’ve just had to own it both the good and the bad.”

When approached for comment, ITV provided The Independent with details of its comprehensive duty of care protocol, which has been overhauled ahead of the new series.

This includes comprehensive psychological support, training for all contestants in social media and the impact of potential negativity, financial training, and more.

Dr Paul Litchfield said:“The Duty of Care arrangements for Love Island continue to evolve in the light of advances in scientific knowledge and awareness of the pressures young people face in establishing healthy relationships.

“That culture of continuous improvement ensures that Islanders are well placed to benefit from their experience of participating in one of the UK’s most popular TV shows.”