ITV said it provided psychological support to Love Island stars who appear upset after the show was criticised by a domestic violence charity over the “possessive” behaviour of a contestant.
Lucie Donlan was left in tears after her partner Joe Garratt told her to stay away from other boys in the reality show, prompting Women’s Aid to speak out about his “abusive behaviour”.
Fans of the ITV2 show have also suggested that Lucie is being bullied by her female co-stars for not wanting to spend time with them.
More than 300 complaints have been made to TV watchdog Ofcom in recent days relating to how Lucie has been treated by other islanders in the show, hosted by Caroline Flack.
An ITV spokesman said: “We take the emotional well-being of all the islanders extremely seriously.
“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.
“This means islanders are always able to reach out and talk to someone if they feel the need. We will of course continue to monitor all of our islanders in line with our robust protocols.
“Love Island holds a mirror up to relationships and all the different dynamics that go with them.”
Adina Claire of Women’s Aid said in a statement: “Controlling behaviour is never acceptable, and with Love Island viewers complaining to Ofcom in record numbers about Joe’s possessive behaviour towards Lucie, more people are becoming aware of this and want to challenge it.
“Abusive relationships often start off with subtle signs of control, so it’s important that it is recognised at an early stage.
“Love Island viewers are now very vocal in calling out unhealthy behaviour between couples on the show, and this is a positive development.
“If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse in a relationship, call the Freephone 24/7 National Domestic Violence Helpline, run by Women’s Aid in partnership with Refuge, on 0808 2000 247 or visit www.womensaid.org.uk.”
After Lucie had repeatedly been left in tears, former Love Island contestant Malin Andersson tweeted: “Can the producers make sure Lucie is ok please.”
Andersson, who appeared on Love Island in 2016, also welcomed Women’s Aid’s intervention, writing: “I’m happy that WOMENS AID have called out Joes behaviour. Some might find it ‘petty as it’s tv’ but think about how many people are watching and may think it’s normal.
“FYI – CONTROLLING AND POSSESIVE (sic) BEHAVIOUR IN A RELATIONSHIP OF ANY KIND IS NOT NORMAL!!”
Fears over Lucie’s well-being came as Ofcom received an additional 486 complaints about her co-star Maura Higgins’ advances towards Tommy Fury.
Fans were shocked when Maura jumped on the 20-year-old boxer as he sat on a sofa and tried to kiss him. Tommy said “no” and turned his head.
MPs are currently probing reality TV after incidents including the deaths of former Love Island contestants Sophie Gradon, 32, and Mike Thalassitis, 26.
Love Island continues on ITV2.