Love Island is back, this time without the celebrities. But not without controversy — and it’s started after only one episode.
If you watched ITV2’s Love Island last night, congratulations. It wasn’t easy viewing. Anyone expecting a modern dating show was in for a shock. The contestants may be shacked up in a stylish Majorcan villa with all mod cons and armed with mobile phones so they can text each other but, so far, it’s taking us back to the teenage lad culture we hoped we’d left in the school playground.
The programme, hosted by Caroline Flack, sees 12 singletons taking part in a dating game to win £50,000.
During last night’s 90-minute show the men boasted about how many women they’d slept with and talked about “leathering” the female contestants.
Even before the men had been given the chance to put their massive misogynistic feet right in it, the show paraded the bikini-clad women in front of them. The excruciatingly awkward format gave the men the chance to step forward if they were attracted to each woman.
For one female — Lauren Richardson, who used to be known as the girl Zayn Malik was rumoured to have copped off with in Thailand but will now be known as the girl nobody fancied on Love Island — the process was particularly embarrassing. No man stepped forward but — rather than telling all of them to bog off — she was still required to pick one to “couple up” with.
Later male contestant Luis Morrison revealed he once slept with six women in one night, prompting much backslapping and shouts of “good lad” from his fellow philistines men.
Jon Clark, the contestant who claims to have slept with between 300 and 400 women, told his partner Hannah Elizabeth that he would “let” her go out at night so that other men could admire her before he “took her home.”
Viewers took to social media within minutes of the first episode starting to blast the blatant sexism.
One Twitter user described it as “just another sexist show that fuels the lad culture of today” while another said the men were “sexist piggies.” Another tweet described the show as “the worst case of misogyny ever”.
If you fancy a healthy helping of misogyny with your TV viewing tonight Love Island continues at 9 p.m. on ITV2.