Between 27 July and 2 August, the TV watchdog received over 5,000 complaints about the ITV2 reality show, most of them accusing the series of causing “unnecessary distress” to the contestants.
According to Metro, the majority of the 4,330 complaints Ofcom received about the 28 July episode related to the postcard that was sent back to the original girls in the main villa, showing what the boys were alleged to have been up to in Casa Amor.
Viewers said it was “misleading and caused unnecessary distress”, especially as it had unfairly suggested that Teddy Soares had cheated on Faye Winter with Clarisse Juliette.
Producers chose to show the girls a photo of him and Clarisse kissing, upsetting Faye who didn’t have the context that it happened during a game of dares and that he had actually been sleeping on a daybed outside.
Those who complained to Ofcom said the postcard “was misleading and caused unnecessary distress”.
Nearly 700 complaints were also made after the recoupling two days later, which saw Teddy left single as a result of the postcard.
Other complaints received last week related to the treatment of Millie Court, after it was revealed Liam Reardon had cheated on her with Lillie Haynes in Casa Amor, as well as episodes ending on a cliffhanger.
Ofcom will now assess all the complaints, as is standard procedure, before deciding whether to fully investigate.
The watchdog previously received a barrage of complaints over a similar stunt Love Island pulled in 2018.
Dani was left distraught at the thought Jack could reunite with his ex, and spent days in emotional turmoil wondering what was going on between them.
The stunt sparked over 2,500 Ofcom complaints, with many accusing producers of causing Dani unnecessary emotional distress given there was nothing going on between Jack and Ellie.
Ofcom later declared they wouldn’t be taking the matter any further, as they didn’t feel Love Island breached any of their guidelines, acknowledging that while Dani’s emotional reaction was difficult to watch, viewers should expect “emotionally charged scenes” and “scenes [which] have been engineered to test contestants’ relationships”.
This year’s series also drew 1,500 Ofcom complaints over the inclusion of contestant Danny Bibby, after it was discovered he had previously used the N-word on social media.
Love Island continues on Wednesday at 9pm on ITV2 and ITV Hub.