It seems the whole nation is talking about Love Island's Adam. He's been all over social media and the press and, on Thursday, domestic violence charity Women's Aid released a warning over his behaviour, describing his treatment former love interest Rosie as "unhealthy" and "showing signs of emotional abuse." In a chat about the comments with Women's Aid CEO Katie Ghose on This Morning, Lauren Goodger and Holly Willoughby's Love Island opinions vastly differed when it came to Adam. Willoughby defended Rosie and Kendall (who he also upset during her time on the island by ditching her for Rosie) and Goodger saying she believed they were in fact to blame for how Adam had treated them.
"It's a TV show. It's a game. They've known each other for how many days. The girls are acting a bit psycho. I'm a girls' girl, please believe me. But I would be completely different, play the game," Goodger said. "The reason why Adam's jumping ship is because they're acting psycho."
Willoughby responded that Adam had tried to crack on with Megan without Rosie's knowledge before they'd had any issues, so it couldn't have been her behaviour that caused it. "But with Megan, she didn't even know that he'd gone and tried it on with [her], she didn't act 'psycho' then because she had no idea," she commented. "He did that without any prompting. He was going to do it anyway."
Later in the show, Goodger elaborated on how she felt the girls were encouraging Adam to treat them poorly. “They’re allowing Adam to treat them that way. They need to stand up to him and be more confident and he won’t be like that. Don’t act like that, stand up strong! Don’t let him decide how he ends it.”
Ghose chipped in explaining that focusing on their emotional responses to Adam's behaviour rather than the behaviour itself could be considered "victim blaming." "In the work we do, we see the victim being blamed," she said. If you are in real life, the abuser in the relationship, you need to stand up and take responsibility for yourself. I think it's fantastic we're having the conversation."
Aside from Goodger's repeated use of the word "psycho" to describe the girls behaviour, which is not only steeped in misogyny but also trivialises serious mental health issues, I totally agree with Ghose. It is fantastic that conversations like the one on This Morning are taking place.
For me this kind of discussion is incredibly important and shows why there's far more to Love Island than certain commentators would be willing to admit. While some say it's shallow and silly, I say what show has sparked such engaging and widespread discussions around diversity in reality TV, straight dating culture, and the more insidious signs of domestic abuse? I certainly can't think of any that have the same national impact.
Many people have had partners like Adam, who act in the way he did to Rosie, belittling their emotional reactions, convincing them that they didn't do or say things they did, humiliating them in front of others. For people to see this behaviour criticised by their peers on social media, in the newspapers and on hugely popular TV shows like This Morning means they are much more likely to recognise the signs of an unhealthy relationship.
If Love Island achieves only one thing this year, except convincing thousands of us that we definitely need a water bottle with our names on and some of those gold tattoos the islanders had on, sparking a national conversation about toxic masculinity and domestic abuse, is pretty good going if you ask me.