Finally, the Love Island men are calling out toxic behaviour when they see it
Finally, it feels like Love Island is taking steps in the right direction. While the show has still come under fire for its lack of body diversity, fans have not only praised ITV2's decision to partner with eBay over a fast fashion brand, as well as the new social media guidelines, but the male behaviour within the villa, too.
In case you need a recap, last night's episode [1st February] saw Shaq calling out fellow Islander Ron over his treatment of Lana, accusing him of making her feel like a "safety net".
Lana and Ron were coupled up on day dot in the winter Love Island villa, and while many viewers assumed the pair would be end game, thanks to their flirty chemistry and cute kisses, it hasn't been plain sailing.
And by, 'it hasn't been plain sailing', we mean: Ron has got to know every single female bombshell that has arrived in the villa since. First came Zara. Then came Ellie. And now it's Samie who has turned his head.
While this understandably didn't go down well with Lana, who was made to feel like second best, it was comforting to see the likes of Shaq calling Ron out to his face, too. Sat on the day beds, he questioned Ron, "Do you feel like you've done anything wrong in the Lana situation?
"I'm gonna give you the honest [opinion], the way you've treated that girl, is so out of order. That girl has serious feelings for you, and I feel like you've taken advantage of her because she's such a nice girl and you feel like she's going to be there the whole time."
He continued, "And you've tuned your head, you've spoke to this girl, that girl whatever, you're saying one thing to Lana and then you're doing the complete opposite. I don't agree with how you've treated her, what you said and what you did are two completely different things."
You only have to compare the scenes to scenarios that have unfolded in years gone by, including allegations of bullying and misogyny towards the female contestants, or challenges where the boys egged each other's toxic behaviour on, to finally feel like we're taking a step in the right direction.
And fans on social media agree. As one put it, "Shaq is the first and only man I’ve ever seen on this show regularly and consistently call out other men for their toxic or misogynist behaviour towards women. The women in his life did good."
Someone else said, "Shaq has now called out Harris for being immature, Tom for being an ass, and now Ron for using Lana as a safety net. THIS IS HOW MEN BEHAVE."
Shaq ate and left no crumbs tonight… I didn’t hear one lie being told here👏👏👏 He’s a real man!! #loveisland #LoveIslandUK pic.twitter.com/phEC6YDMwB
— Candice Sterling (@QueenieCandice) February 1, 2023
WHEN MEN CALL OUT OTHER MEN ON THEIR BEHAVIOUR I SWEAR THERES NOTHING SEXIER IT OOOOOOOZES CONFIDENCE #loveisland Shaq my man ❤️❤️😩😩
— rach leary (@rach_leary) February 1, 2023
Come on Shaq with the Point Evidence Explanation Link. A communicator! #LoveIsland
— Jason Okundaye (@jasebyjason) January 27, 2023
seen a few people saying ‘does shaq want to be with lana or something?’ but he also stuck up for zara in yesterday’s episode… i genuinely just think he’s a nice guy who respects women but that’s so rare to see on this show so everyone is immediately suspicious #loveisland
— Ruby Naldrett (@rubynaldrett) February 1, 2023
Nah give Shaq that £50k now for the fact he’s holding all these men accountable for their actions #loveisland
— Beth (@beth__moreton) January 31, 2023
Viewers also praised farmer Will for previously calling out Ron's choices, while also trying to explain to Tom how he could have handled the Ellie / Zara / Olivia situation differently.
Admittedly, this might feel like we're asking for the bare minimum (yes, red flags should be called out when you see them), but at least it's a step in the right direction.
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