Deputy Editor Kat Smith shares her stance on Love Island’s Adam and his behaviour towards women, following Women’s Aid’s statement
Oh, Love Island. I doubt I need to introduce it – anyone who has experienced minimal social interaction over the last year has heard of the biggest reality TV show going. I’ll be the first to admit that I watch it religiously, unashamedly lapping up the details of every instance of romance, conflict, and gossip like pretty much everyone else in this country. But although it can often feel like a bit of light-hearted entertainment to sit down with a cup of tea with at the end of our comparably-less-glamorous lives, it is hard to forget how influential the series can really be.
In addition to concerns over the beauty standards it perpetuates, the problematic lack of inclusivity and all-round gawping at the plight of others, there have been particular concerns over the actions of one inhabitant of the villa. 22-year-old Adam Collard has been accused of manipulating and gaslighting Rosie Williams over the last few episodes, sparking the domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid to highlight his behaviour as ‘warning signs’ and urging viewers to recognise unhealthy behaviour in relationships. Throughout his time in the villa, Adam has pursued many women. In their final confrontation on the matter, Rosie was in tears in front of him as he smirked and dismissed her.
This is obviously more of a problem with the individual than the structure of the show. However, in an environment where malicious and humiliating actions are presented for entertainment, we are egged on to love to hate Adam, rather than be genuinely concerned over his treatment of fellow contestants.
I am wholeheartedly supportive of Women’s Aid’s statements on the situation. It’s easy to dismiss warning signs of abusive behaviour as just someone being a ‘f*ckboy’ or a ‘player’, when actually it is pretty serious. It’s even more easy to do so when the perpetrator is on a popular TV show giving the producers a treasure cove of juicy content. Abusive and unhealthy relationships are not always as obvious, especially when the victim is being manipulated to the point that they do not believe they’re being mistreated. While it’s a relief to see Rosie stand up for herself and call him out on his behaviour, it is seriously infuriating to watch him belittle her and for his actions to go unpunished.
Love Island producers should take some more responsibility for acknowledging what Adam is doing as being wrong and not just something to laugh at. I have found Adam’s treatment of Rosie and other girls in the villa to be disgusting and hard to watch at times. It is not just a show, it can have an impact on how people perceive relationships, especially when the first episode of the series had 3.4 million viewers at its peak.
So, it’s not enough to call Adam out for being a player, we all need to admit how damaging this behaviour can be. Many of the other islanders laugh at it or nervously dismiss it and this does reflect a lot of real cases. The whole ‘players gonna play’ attitude is damaging and undermines victims of emotional abuse. No doubt Adam will have a parade of beautiful women vying for his attention when he leaves the villa because his actions haven’t been acknowledged as harmful by the show and emotional manipulation is largely overlooked. It’s time we started calling people out, even if they are ‘stars’ on a reality TV show orchestrated to produce drama.
If you are concerned about domestic abuse regarding yourself or someone you know, please contact Women’s Aid at https://www.womensaid.org.uk/