Love Island has been hit by 781 Ofcom complaints in four weeks


Love Island has been hit by 781 Ofcom complaints in four weeks as fans complain about bullying, age gaps and the mental health of contestants

  • In the first week, more than 200 viewers complained about the eight year age gap between love interests Gemma Owen and Davide Sanclimenti
  • Despite them being consenting adults, fans shared their discomfort over the pair’s age gap, with some wondering why Davide would pick someone so young
  • Elsewhere, viewers also complained about the treatment of Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu, after she was branded a ‘f***ing headache’ by Jacques O’Neill
  • Latest news and updates on all of your favourite Love Island contestants

Love Island has received almost 800 Ofcom complaints since it began four weeks ago, the broadcasting watchdog has confirmed.

The dating show has been hit by claims of bullying by viewers, while others shared concerns about the age-gap romances and the mental health of the Islanders.

The ITV2 programme, which has been hit by its fair share of controversy over the years, has received a total of 781 complaints up to date.

Complaints: Love Island has received almost 800 Ofcom complaints since it began four weeks ago, the broadcasting watchdog has confirmed

Complaints: Love Island has received almost 800 Ofcom complaints since it began four weeks ago, the broadcasting watchdog has confirmed

A spokesperson for Ofcom told The Daily Star: ‘On background, the main themes have been certain contestants being bullied; certain contestants’ well being and mental health; the age gap between certain contestants and certain contestants being given more screen time in the main show edit than others.’

In the first week, more than 200 viewers complained about the eight year age gap between love interests Gemma Owen and Davide Sanclimenti.

Following an episode which aired on June 7, the programme received 167 complaints over the age gap between Gemma, 19, and Davide, 27.

After they kissed an episode which aired on June 12, Ofcom received a further 93 complaints over the same issue.

What! The dating show has been hit by claims of bullying by viewers, while others shared concerns about the age-gap romances and the mental health of the Islanders

What! The dating show has been hit by claims of bullying by viewers, while others shared concerns about the age-gap romances and the mental health of the Islanders

Later addressing the age gap, Gemma said: ‘It’s not an issue for me at all. I feel like if it was, I wouldn’t have wanted to get to know you in the first place. And as I’ve said, I’ve been speaking to guys and seeing guys who are much older than me.’

Despite them both being consenting adults, fans shared their discomfort over the pair’s age gap, with some wondering why Davide would pick someone so young.

Viewers expressed their unease at Davide opting to couple up with Michael Owen’s 19-year-old daughter, though it wasn’t clear if he was aware of her age at the time.

Total The ITV2 programme, which has been hit by its fair share of controversy over the years, has received a total of 781 complaints up to date

Total The ITV2 programme, which has been hit by its fair share of controversy over the years, has received a total of 781 complaints up to date

‘Davide cracking on with Gemma is just so weird she’s literally 8 years younger than you what are you doing’ shared one watcher.

With a second stating: ‘As someone who was 19 and was with a 27 year old man, I can tell you that there is a problem with the age difference. You’re at different stages and on different pages at that point. Does Davide know she’s just a teenager?’

‘Someone tell me why #LoveIsland can allow a 19 and a 27 year old to recouple that is not ok’ questioned a third.

While another remarked: ‘ewwww i’m sorry but why does davide as a 27 year old wants to be coupled up with a 19 year old.’

Just a number? Viewers expressed their unease at Davide, 27, opting to couple up with Michael Owen's 19-year-old daughter, though it's not clear if he was aware of her age

Just a number? Viewers expressed their unease at Davide, 27, opting to couple up with Michael Owen’s 19-year-old daughter, though it’s not clear if he was aware of her age

What's the problem? However, there were some who spoke out in defence of the pairing, arguing that the two are both grown, consenting adults

What’s the problem? However, there were some who spoke out in defence of the pairing, arguing that the two are both grown, consenting adults

However, there were some who spoke out in defence of the pairing, arguing that the two are both grown, consenting adults. 

‘Why are all these snowflake women raging about the age gap between gemma and davide, they are both of age (both over 18), shes 19 and hes 27, its not like hes 50, relax yourselfs and gemma looks like shes 35 anyway’ asked one.

With another Love Island fan questioning: Why’s everyone so pressed about a 19 year old and 27 year old? They’re both consenting adults…’

Gemma has since moved on with Luca Bish, 23. 

Elsewhere, viewers also complained about the treatment of Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu, after she was branded a ‘f***ing headache’ by Jacques.

After she was dumped by Jay, Jacques told her: ‘[He] coupled up with you and he’s found out what you are in two days mate, a f*****g headache.’

War of words: After Ekin-Su went over what had just happened and voiced her frustration with Jay, Jacques stepped in and called Ekin-Su a 'f*****g headache'

War of words: After Ekin-Su went over what had just happened and voiced her frustration with Jay, Jacques stepped in and called Ekin-Su a ‘f*****g headache’ 

Ekin-Su replied: ‘No, shut up Jacques. He wants to get to know Paige.’

Ekin-Su insisted that Jay had led her on and said: ‘There’s nothing wrong with people getting to know each other.’

Several unimpressed viewers took to social media to defend Ekin-Su with one writing: ‘Ekin-Su is so clerly being bullied, I’ve had enough of the boys’.

Another said: ‘Ekin-Su is getting bullied in that villa and noting is being done.’

One viewer added: ‘I hate the way boys stick together no matter what. Ekin-Su could have earned the karma or whatever, but the way the boys just ignord her and hi-fived Jay. Ugggh’.

Tension: Fans were left unimpressed with the boys' behaviour after they ganged up on Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu following her row with Jay Younger

Tension: Fans were left unimpressed with the boys’ behaviour after they ganged up on Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu following her row with Jay Younger

Another fan wrote: ‘Fully believe Ekin Su is being bullied in the villa and I’m not here for it, villain or not no one deserves to be alone like that.’ 

Extensive welfare measures remain in place to provide support to programme participants before, during and after filming.

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.

The inclusion training, which Islanders are offered prior to entering the Villa, consists of conversations chaired by BCOMS (Black Collective of Media in Sport) founder Leon Mann MBE and including DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) consultant Hayley Bennett, disability specialist Shani Dhanda and broadcaster Sean Fletcher. 

These discussions will tackle topics including inclusive language, behaviour, creating safe spaces and being a good ally.

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