Hit reality series Love Island has once again found itself at the centre of controversy, with a recent argument between two contestants attracting almost 25,000 complaints to regulator Ofcom.
Islanders Faye Winter and Teddy Soares had been coupled up for some time but their relationship was put to the test when the boys were sent to Casa Amor, an alternative villa populated by new potential partners.
Last Friday, the remaining contestants were shown footage from Casa Amor week, with Teddy seen flirting with Clarisse Juliette and later kissing her (in the context of a challenge).
Outside of that brief game, he had stayed faithful to Faye but, upon viewing footage where he said there was a “sexual attraction” between them, she felt betrayed and went on a foul-mouthed rant at her partner.
In total, 24,763 complaints – the highest for a single episode this series so far – were lodged about that particular episode of Love Island, most of which were targeted at Faye’s behaviour, but there has been no word yet on whether an investigation will be launched.
“We are carefully assessing these complaints, but have not yet taken a decision on whether or not to investigate,” an Ofcom spokesperson said on the organisation’s official Twitter page.
An ITV spokesperson previously issued a statement to RadioTimes.com following the backlash to the scenes of Faye and Teddy’s argument.
“Welfare and duty of care towards our contributors is always our primary concern, and we take the emotional well-being of all the Islanders extremely seriously,” they said. “We have dedicated welfare producers and psychological support on hand at all times who monitor and regularly speak to all of the Islanders in private and off camera, especially if someone appears to be upset. All the Islanders are therefore fully supported by the professionals on site and by their friends in the villa. Islanders can always reach out and talk to someone if they feel the need.”
On Tuesday night’s programme, Faye reconciled with Teddy, offering a full apology for her reaction to the clip, with the couple ultimately deciding to stay together.
“I am really sorry for the way I spoke to you,” she said. “There’s no excuse for the way I spoke to you or how I raised my voice and no-one should have someone speak to them like that.”
Faye’s social media accounts, which are monitored by her family during her time in the villa, have been hit by abusive and threatening comments since last Friday’s episode.
They wrote in an Instagram story: “While we don’t want to comment on the events of the show, we ask everyone to remember: You are watching a highly edited TV show which is created for entertainment – you can never see the full picture.
“There are human beings managing the islander’s social media pages who will be seriously effected [sic] by your comments,” the continued. “We ask that everyone please remember this before commenting or messaging.
“We make no apology for turning off comments, blocking & deleting to protect the mental well-being of ourselves and Faye when she comes out.”