TV

'Love Island' producers respond to the uncalled for bullying of Teddy last night

It was heartbreaking television, but what did the producers do to help?

By Kate Wagner

Last night on Love Island, the Islanders were sent off for some hijinks to stop them being driven mad inside the four walls of the villa and to stop us dying of boredom watching them talk about feelings.

They played a game called 'Shaken and Stirred' where a quote from one of the housemates is read out to the group by the person the statement was about, and then the spurned housemate throws a drink at the person they suspect said it.

Does that make sense? Look, just watch the preview above:

For the most part, the comments are about people "playing the game" (famously what one does on a reality show) or outing someone for daring to say an Islander that is NOT their partner is attractive—gasp, shock, horror etc. etc.

Obviously the game was designed to get everyone a bit het up and stir some controversy—reality shows are hardly famous for friendship building activities—but some of the comments were firmly in bullying territory.

The light, fun side of the game came to a screeching halt when Teddy found out Shelby wasn't attractive for his ever so slightly crooked teeth—honestly, there are people who have paid to have teeth like Teddy's, so colour us confused.

"The thing with Teddy is that I'm a really big 'teeth person'… and I just can't," she'd said.

The awkward silence was suffocating, everyone immediately realising that was a step too far.

Teddy then heard what Eden thought of him when he coupled up with Erin, which wasn't really all that bad but when Teddy went to throw his drink, he asked, "Are you hot?"

Eden replied: "Yeah, hotter than you."

If Teddy was in a different point in the show—a genuine coupling, firmer friends—these comments might've been easier to shake off, but he's not. In the privacy of the diary room (don't know what it's actually called but I think we can all agree this is just a horny Big Brother), Teddy broke down.

"I was bullied in school then and it took a lot for me to get over [it] and to gain the confidence to thrive in life," he confessed to the camera.

"I feel like when I came in the villa I was at that level. I had the great confidence that had taken a few years to build up, and now I feel like I'm in high school again getting bullied by the same meathead dudes."

"I've caught myself feeling… for the last day or so… like, I'm not going to quit—young Teddy in high school never quit," he asserted as he fought back tears.

"Sorry," he spits out, before breaking down. "I know I'm going to be okay, it's just I haven't really voiced this and you don't want to cry in front of everybody."

"I know I'm going to stick it out 100%. I know I haven't found love in here but I know people will see my personality, and see I'm a fun-loving guy, I think.

"Karma comes around and I know all mine's going to be good."

When we contacted Love Island to see if teddy received enough support in what a clearly upsetting scenario, they stressed their producers and psychologists are available and trained to help at all times.

"The welfare of our Islanders on Love Island Australia is always paramount. Our producers are available for Islanders to talk to 24/7," an ITV spokesperson told Now To Love.

"In this case Teddy spoke to members of the senior executive team who liaised closely with our psychologist on the ground."

They also added bullying—which, let's face it, this clearly was—is not acceptable in the villa.

"We continued to monitor him closely after the challenge. He expressed a desire to stay in the Villa and his resilience shone through. The executive producer also spoke to contestants about their responsibilities and our strict non-bullying stance," the spokesperson asserted to Now To Love.

"We continue to support Teddy and he has access to care around the clock while in the Villa and post-filming."

Watching Teddy so obviously upset was a heartbreaking piece of television and it came down to us not really caring boys' feelings. There has been a huge focus in recent years to protect girls' mental health—to downplay the importance of looks and promote healthy body images, but we forget boys are susceptible as well.

Then, to top it all off, he joined in on Grant's elaborate plan to ask Tayla to be his girlfriend (which we're pretty sure she thought was an actual proposal based on her reaction) and the poor guy got told he had awful fashion sense—he can't catch a break.

He's a good looking guy and he probably has heaps of friends on the outside, but now he's been thrown into a pretty hostile environment with a bunch of people just as attractive as him. He's as vulnerable as any of us would be, and producers exploited that. Hats off to them for cracking down on anti-bullying, but they're the ones who chose which comments were shared with the group...

Teddy might be embarrassed that he cried but we say good on him—men have feelings too and he didn't deserve to be kicked when he was down.