Michael Griffiths clashed fiercely with Amber Gill in yesterday’s (Wednesday, July 3) episode of Love Island after he chose to recouple with Joanna Chimonides and dump her. At the start of the episode, Michael told Amber and Love Island host Caroline Flack the reasons he chose to recouple, stating he’d had to bite his tongue on a number of occasions and she’d been “disrespectful” by laughing in his face. Amber seemed to be at a loss with Michael’s reasoning for the recoupling as were many fans of the ITV2 series.
Speaking at the start of the programme, Michael explained to Caroline: “There were situations where I didn’t think she was that into me. It was really quite apparent.”
He continued: “I was biting my tongue in situations I wouldn’t usually bite my tongue in and overlooking things I wouldn’t usually overlooked. I’ve been in situations like that before, so why would I do that now?”
Amber replied: “A little bit confusing because he could have said it to my face because he’s so straight up.
“Biting his tongue, never heard that before. What can I say? People make s*** up on the spot.”
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Caroline grilled Michael further as she had a protective arm around Amber, asking: “Michael, why didn’t you say that to Amber before?”
“I have said it before,” Michael said, going on to add: “She said I’ve made small situations into big situation that’s why I can’t say nothing to her.”
Amber later spoke to Michael in the villa, telling him: “If I’m totally honest, I feel like the biting your tongue thing has come out of the blue.
WHO IS AMBER GILL?
“Laughing in your face, I thought that was one incident and I thought that was squashed.”
A number of fans took to social media to hit out at Michael with one person posting on Twitter: “michael is genuinely SO manipulative. amber is having a mature conversation and he’s making out that she’s crazy????? gaslighting at its finest #loveisland [sic].”
While another wrote: “If you want to know the signs of gaslighting, just observe everything Michael has done over the past few days. He’s a manipulator, a liar and reeks of toxicity. Amber had a lucky escape. He’s trying to rile her up so she’ll prove all the things he has said about her. #loveisland.”
WHO IS MICHAEL GRIFFITHS?
“Michael was literally gaslighting that WHOLE episode and showing very manipulative, abusive behaviour and yet everyone jumps to call Joe a psycho? #LoveIsland,” a third said.
A fourth posted: “The way Michael is gaslighting @AmberRoseGill is horrible. Saying it’s all her fault, and saying she’s childish when she laughs… I do the same, I laugh in awkward situations. Its not a sign of being immature, it’s trying to keep yourself together in front of people #loveisland.”
Another person added: “The way michael was gaslighting amber and trying to provoke a reaction out of her was emotionally manipulative as hell. #loveisland.”
However, Love Island viewers are only shown one hour of footage from a whole day which means the majority of events from the villa are not seen, so it’s not clear whether the accusations of gaslighting are fair.
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What is gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a tactic used to emotionally abuse, manipulate and control a person in a relationship.
The action of gaslighting sees a person deliberating manipulating and setting up situations which makes them question themselves repeatedly.
Signs of gaslighting include questioning someone’s memory about an incident, minimising a person’s feelings or thoughts, denying things and accusing the person of lying or making things up, among other things.
A definition from charity Women’s Aid states: “Gaslighting is one tactic of coercive and controlling behaviour that aims to make a victim doubt themselves, their perception of events and even their own sanity, with devastating consequences.’
“Common phrases are: ‘you’re paranoid’, ‘you’re crazy’ or ‘you need help.’ These are a form of psychological manipulation, these are #NotJustWords.”
The term takes its name from the 1938 play Gas Light in which a husband tries to make his wife go crazy by dimming the lights in their home which are powered by gas.
Every time she questions her husband about the light being turned down, he denies it hence the term.
Michael is not the first person to have been accused of gaslighting in Love Island.
Last year Adam Collard found similar accusations levelled at him after he appeared to gaslight Rosie Williams.
Domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid head Katie Ghose released a statement last year in which she said: “On the latest series of Love Island, there are clear warning signs in Adam’s behaviour,”
“In a relationship, a partner questioning your memory of events, trivialising your thoughts or feelings, and turning things around to blame you can be part of a pattern of gaslighting and emotional abuse.
“Last night, Rosie called out Adam’s unacceptable behaviour on the show.
“We ask viewers to join her in recognising unhealthy behaviour in relationships and speaking out against all forms of domestic abuse – emotional as well as physical.
“It is only when we make a stand together against abuse in relationships that we will see attitudes change and an end to domestic abuse.”
A spokesperson for ITV told Express.co.uk: “We have a duty of care to all of the islanders and we have dedicated welfare producers and psychological support on hand at all times who monitor and regularly speak to all of the Islanders in private and off camera, especially if someone appears to be upset. All the Islanders are therefore fully supported by the professionals on site and by their friends in the villa.
“We would strongly discourage anyone from following social media commentary that labels Islanders in potentially defamatory or damaging ways, especially when they have no opportunity to respond. Social media negativity is of course very distressing for their families to read, and we strive to protect them from this where we can.”
Love Island airs on ITV2 nightly at 9pm
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