'Slut-shaming' | 

ITV defends Love Island host Laura Whitmore as hundreds complain about Aftersun comments

“We do not condone trolling against either our host or our Islanders and any subsequent elevation of these comments”

Laura Whitmore

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

ITV has been forced to defend Love Island host Laura Whitmore after more than 400 complaints were made about comments she expressed on Sunday spin-off show Aftersun.

There have been 3,000 Ofcom complaints regarding the ITV2 dating show, which is the most watched series of the programme so far, with 427 of those specifically referring to Whitmore’s Aftersun panel interview.

Viewers took issue with Laura's discussion about islander Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and George Tasker .

After Sunday evening's episode of the show, Ekin was left defending herself after a video of her and George in bed was shown on the screen.

It's not clear what went on between the two, but Ekin could be heard saying: "It's too hot," before adding: "We're just friends."

George could later be heard telling the boys that there was “some touching going on”.

Ekin-Su on Love Island© ITV

Discussing the controversy on Aftersun, Laura said: "Once again Ekin-Su swore that nothing happened with George and it seems Davide doesn’t believe her."

Panellist, singer Tom Grennan, added: "It deffo happened though, didn’t it?"

While comedian Darren Harriott suggested: "She said her head never turned but I think her hand might have turned, and possibly wrist."

Laura continued the conversation and even turned to Capital FM DJ Sian Welby to get more commentary on the incident.

Fans were also uncomfortable when Jacques O'Neill, who quit the show, later explained he no longer felt like himself in the villa, with some expressing concern about his welfare.

In a statement, ITV said: "Laura is the presenter of the show, and part of that role is to pose questions to the panel and discuss events in the villa."

They continued: "We do not condone trolling against either our host or our Islanders and any subsequent elevation of these comments."

In response to concerns over Jacques' appearance on the show, ITV said: "We had various measures in place to ensure Jacques’ welfare was prioritised at all times ahead of and during his appearance on Aftersun.

"This included a full briefing with show producers to outline the show’s content and likely questioning, a conversation with Laura before and after the show was recorded, and chaperoning from both a welfare producer and a member of his family while he was in studio," they added.

The concluded: "Should an Islander not wish to participate in the Aftersun recording, we would always respect that decision."

Ekin-Su's friend and account handler took to social media to slam ITV over their handling of the comments made in the spin-off, likening them to slut shaming.

They wrote: "The fact that the slut shaming is being passed off as banter and good television is very concerning at this rate," and many viewers responded in agreement.

The suggestive clip of George and Ekin-Su has been shut down by both islanders who claim nothing actually happened between them.

The show has already received over 2,000 contacts from viewers who complained about the misogynistic behaviour of some of the male contestants after the islanders took part in the infamous movie night challenge.

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