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It’s Time To Talk About The ‘Toxic’ Men Of Love Island – With Some Men

It’s 9pm in the middle of summer, it’s light outside, and there’s only one thing you could be doing. Yep that’s right, sitting inside on the sofa, scrolling your phone as you watch yet another episode of this year’s Love Island.

The ITV2 show, which briefly threatened to fizzle out after the pandemic pause of summer 2020, is once again the talk of Twitter and all of our group chats.

But while the majority of conversation usually focuses on the nation’s favourite couples and contestants, the unexpected friendships, and the fashion, more than ever, the public is fixated by the behaviour of the men this year. All of the men. And there’s really only one word being used to describe it: toxic.

“Why are all the men on Love Island this year so objectively awful?” asked Victoria Richards of the Independent – and she’s not the only one. “Sexist Love Island isn’t romance – it’s just toxic men demeaning women,” said The Sun.

Type “men are trash” into Google, and an episode of this season’s Love Island would surely come up top. Avid watchers of the show are used to seeing men behave like, well, like men. Remember the Do Bits Society, anyone? But this year’s viewing has been another level of uncomfortable.

Gemma Owen (daughter of footballer Michael) and Luca “I Sell Fish” Bish have been one of the longest standing couples in the villa.

But during ‘Mad Movies’ night, when a clip of Gemma speaking to male bombshell Billy was played, Luca angrily accused her of flirting, prompting viewers to call out what they saw as controlling and gaslighting tendencies.

Jacques, who has now left the villa, was also called out repeatedly as “toxic” for his dealings with partner Paige, ever since he told her to “fuck off” after the the ‘Heart Pumping’ challenge. And another two words – “shut up!” – landed just as badly when Dami had the cheek to throw them at new partner Summer following his and Indiyah’s frosty Casa Amor showdown.

It doesn’t even stop with the couplings.

Dami and Luca at the firepit.

Both Dami and Luca have been criticised for persistently picking on Tasha of late, saying she hasn’t treated partner Andrew fairly. In the recent ‘Snog, Marry, Pie’ challenge, Tasha was actually pied by the majority of the boys, leaving her visibly upset. Nothing like a bit of pack mentality is there?

In fact, Ofcom has received some 3,000 complaints in the past week alone about the male islanders – more than 2,481 of them about Luca on movie night and another 413 over the “alleged bullying and misogynistic behaviour” displayed by the wider set of boys the following night’s episode.

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