Things are tense AF in the Love Island villa after the originals all returned from Casa Amor.
Episode 27 (Wednesday, July 3rd) saw tensions reach boiling point between Anna, Amber and Michael after he coupled up with new girl Joanna Chimonides.
But Michael’s response to Amber post-Casa Amor has led many to accuse him of gaslighting. And it’s not even the first time gaslighting has become an issue this season of Love Island with Joe Garratt also having the finger pointed at him.
Read on to find out more about the gaslighting this season, who’s been involved and what’s being done about it.
What is gaslighting?
Gaslighting is an example of emotional abuse that can range in severity.
It is a means of manipulation where one party forces another to question their own sanity or version of events. Or where one person makes another doubt the reality of what’s happened.
The term comes from the 1938 play (and later film) Gas Light which serves as a great example for how it works…
A man tries to drive his wife mad by dimming the lights in their home every day. When the wife would ask if the light’s had dimmed, the husband would deny it. Slowly but surely having his wife question her own perception of things.
Was Michael gaslighting Amber in Love Island?
Viewers could tell Michael was about to gaslight Amber as he made his recoupling speech in episode 26 (Tuesday, July 2nd).
As he announced issues in the relationship that had never been aired or considered, even his fellow Islanders were left scratching their heads.
But when Michael pulled Amber ‘for a chat’, things spiralled out of control and some of his comments led viewers to brand this scene “supreme gaslighting”.
A calm Amber asked where the problems had come from and why he had not raised them before, to which Michael deflected by calling her “catty” and saying she wasn’t listening to him.
By pointing out things he disliked about Amber from the beginning – things he had never expressed – and turning them around on her as the reason they did not work out, is a masterful example of gaslighting. It, in turn, makes Amber think it is her fault that he left her.
The gaslighting escalates
Blood was boiling as viewers watched Michael gaslight Amber repeatedly.
It reached its most ridiculous when Michael flat out asked: “Why are you raising your voice at this?”
A collected Amber replied, “I’m absolutely not, this is not me raising my voice” while Michael continued to tell her she was and said there was “no point” continuing the conversation.
Considering that Amber had been branded as childish by Michael, we think she handled herself particularly well in this conversation with him. As did many viewers.
What is being done about the gaslighting on Love Island?
Women’s Aid released a response to the Joe/Lucie gaslighting situation after Ofcom received over 300 complaints in regard to his controlling behaviour.
But so far nothing has been said about the situation between Michael and Amber from Women’s Aid or ITV and Ofcom received just 36 complaints.
Whether or not anything will be done about the gaslighting is yet to be determined, as nothing was done last season when Adam Collard gaslit Rosie.
But what we do know is that it’s definitely caused an online debate with many men siding with Michael whereas most women leapt to Amber’s defence.
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