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The broadcasting watchdog received over 700 complaints about an episode of Love Island broadcast in June, in which surfer Lucie was left in tears after her partner Joe Garratt told her to spend less time with the male contestants.
Some of the other girls in the villa were vocal about how they felt Lucie was too friendly with Tommy Fury, another contestant in the show, and felt like she didn’t spend enough time hanging out with them.
In a statement, Ofcom explained their ruling: “While we understand some viewers were concerned for her well-being, we think most viewers would expect to see emotionally charged scenes in a programme which shines a light on people’s relationships.
“We also took into account that the contestant received support from others, particularly following her partner’s departure.”
Joe’s behaviour, in which he warned Lucie to keep away from Tommy, was labelled as “manipulative” and “controlling” by viewers, and saw charity Women’s Aid issue a statement on his “abusive behaviour”.
Upon leaving the villa, Joe explained to The Sun, “I’m gutted it’s been perceived that way. I’d do everything and anything to help her as she had a hard time in there and didn’t get on with the girls.”
Earlier this month, Ofcom said it would not be investigating a scene from an episode of Love Island which saw Maura Higgins repeatedly try to kiss Tommy.
The regulating body received 709 complaints after Tommy, who was coupled up with Molly-Mae Hague, declined Maura’s advances, before admitting he was torn between the two women.
An Ofcom spokeswoman said “while we recognise that many viewers disapproved of a contestant’s behaviour in this episode, we took into account the context in which it occurred, including the nature of Maura and Tommy’s relationship, before and after.”
Love Island continues weeknights and Sundays at 9pm on ITV 2