'Love Island' 2019 sparked over 3,000 Ofcom complaints

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Maura Higgins' active pursuit of Tommy Fury prompted the most complaints about the latest series of Love Island (Credit: ITV2)

The latest series of Love Island generated 3,094 official complaints from viewers broadcast regulator Ofcom.

Maura Higgins’ attempts to kiss Tommy Fury was the incident on the ITV2 show that most angered viewers - sparking 709 complaints for that single incident.

Complainants claimed the Irish model sexually harassed the boxer by trying to kiss him on multiple occasions.

Ofcom assessed the complaints about the June 14 broadcast but determined they did not warrant investigation, saying: “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.”

Some 700 viewers complained about the treatment of Lucie Donlan by her partner Joe Garratt and other female contestants while she was on the show.

Joe left Lucie in tears after telling her to stay away from other boys on the programme.

This led to domestic violence charity Women’s Aid to speak out about his “abusive behaviour”.

Read more: 'Love Island' star Amy Hart on why she quit the show

Ofcom also assessed these complaints but did not investigate, saying in a statement: “We assessed complaints about the treatment of one of the contestants by her partner and others.

“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.”

Ofcom also decided not to investigate after 288 viewers complained that Anna Vakili and Amber Gill bullied Danny Williams and Arabella Chi after he chose to couple up with the model instead of their friend Yewande Biala.

The watchdog said: “We recognise that a number of viewers disapproved of some contestants’ behaviour in these episodes, and were concerned about its effect on the others.

Amber Gill and Greg O'Shea were the winning couple of Love Island 2019 (Credit: ITV2)

“We think most viewers would expect highly-charged, confrontational scenes as the contestants explore new friendships and relationships.”

The fourth and fifth most complained about incidents concerned Michael Griffiths’s treatment of Amber.

On July 15, 169 people complained about his behaviour towards the eventual winner, after Joanna Chimonides was dumped from the show.

After Michael made it clear he would not rekindle their romance despite the exit of Joanna, she told her friends: “It’s really starting to upset me and wear me down. I just feel really angry.”

Read more: 'Love Island' may be affected by new health rules issued by Ofcom

Those complaints are being assessed, Ofcom said.

On July 3, 143 people complained about the way Michael treated Amber after the post-Casa Amor recoupling, which saw him dump her for newcomer Joanna.

Those complaints are also being assessed.

Ofcom today announced new rules it is proposing to protect the participants in reality television.