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    People Are Boycotting This Reality Show Because They Think It Normalises Abusive Relationships

    People are threatening to boycott TOWIE and calling for two male cast members to be axed over the way they spoke to their girlfriends.

    For the past eight years, The Only Way Is Essex has provided viewers with an array of dramas.

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    We've seen breakups, punch-ups, infidelity and drink-throwing amongst plenty of other ~agg.~

    However, since TOWIE returned for its twenty second season last month, viewers have found some of the scenes depicting arguments between couples on the show increasingly uncomfortable. In fact, some viewers are even accusing ITV of glamourising abusive relationships by broadcasting the scenes, and have threatened to boycott the show.

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    Here's what's gone down.

    The first argument, between James "Lockie" Lock and his girlfriend Yaz Oukhellou, erupted during the season opener.

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    Things began when Yaz's friend Chloe Lewis told Lockie that the "aggressive" way he'd spoken to Yaz the day before had been inappropriate.

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    Chloe said: "That's someone's little girl. If you had a daughter one day would you want her to be spoken to by her partner in the way you speak to Yaz?"

    Yaz began to cry while listening to the conversation.

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    And Lockie immediately told her to stop crying, saying she was "making him look like a fucking prick."

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    He then told her to "stop playing the victim," calling her a "fucking spoilt little brat."

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    And when she didn't stop crying, he repeated the sentiment.

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    Yaz said that while she "didn't care" about how Lockie spoke to her at home, she felt "embarrassed" when he verbally abused her in public.

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    And after her friends left the pair to talk privately, Yaz challenged Lockie's behaviour.

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    But he refused to take any responsibility, saying their relationship was "toxic" and blaming their arguments on Yaz's behaviour.

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    And when Yaz decided to leave the conversation, Lockie yelled this as she walked away.

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    People swiftly took to social media to air their feelings about the scene.

    Lockie is absolutely disgusting. ITV should be ashamed to put an abusive relationship on TV and call it entertainment. Yas is a complete mug, never let a man speak to you like that in public or in private. #TOWIE

    Many people suggested that Lockie's behaviour was "borderline abusive."

    Okay, it’s reality tv and we have to take everything we see with a pinch of salt, but Lockie’s aggression towards Yaz was borderline abusive in last night’s #TOWIE... so uncomfortable to watch 😬

    Watching Lockie on #TOWIB makes me so glad I took the difficult step of leaving my emotionally and verbally abusive ex bf who I really loved. They just never change. Well done for getting out @daniarmstrong88 #TOWIE

    While others vocalised concern for Yaz.

    I’m actually very worried about yaz. The fact that he 1. Speak to her like that in public, what must he say to her in private?! And 2. She actually said ‘I don’t mind in the house’. I hope she realises she doesn’t deserve to be spoken to like that private or not #towie

    Many others accused ITV of normalising abusive behaviour and setting a poor example for its young female audience.

    The way some of the boys are behaving on #Towie tonight is disgusting. A lot of young girls watch #TheOnlyWayIsEssex and its very worrying how behaviour like this is normalised. We should be teaching girls that behaviour like this is not acceptable in any way.

    #towie promoting and glamourising emotional abuse on national TV is NOT OK! These men are VILE and NASTY pieces of work. Your target audience is young girls. You have a responsibility to those young girls! Uncomfortable viewing this season. @ITVBe

    @MarcoStevenco That young people watch. Tv has an influence on people whether it’s ‘just a show’ or not. It was nasty and borderline abusive. I don’t want young people (esp. girls) thinking that someone speaking to them like that is ok.

    But when the second episode of the season rolled around there was another altercation – this time between Courtney Green and Myles Barnett.

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    Courtney had been accused of flirting with Jordan, a new cast member, during a trip to Barcelona where Myles wasn't present.

    Myles initially sided with his girlfriend, but when they bumped into Jordan in the street, an argument erupted when Jordan told Myles a few further details of what went down – namely that Courtney had told Jordan that Myles was requesting to see photos of him while they were in Barcelona in order to see his competition.

    At this point, an embarrassed Myles lost it.

    After swearing at Jordan, Myles turned and called Courtney a "dirty little dog."

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    He went on to call her a "little slag," telling her to "go and fuck herself."

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    Myles then launched his drink over both Courtney and Jordan.

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    Before turning and pointing in Courtney's face, telling her to "fuck off" and calling her a "dirty little tramp."

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    And as Courtney followed him as he stormed down the road, Myles yelled at her to "fuck off."

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    And again, people were angered by the scene.

    Just caught up on towie and the way Myles spoke to Courtney was absolutely disgusting, disregarding everything that’s gone on, no man should ever talk to a woman in that way, especially their girlfriend.

    Ok so the way myles just spoke to Courtney is fucking disgusting, wow. #towie

    And said that both episodes had been difficult to watch.

    #TOWIE is genuinely concerning to watch at the moment?! Glamorising men being verbally abusive to their girlfriends is really uncomfortable. First Lockie, now Myles.... 😒

    Some branded the men "abusive and controlling."

    @OnlyWayIsEssex @courtneyMgreen What’s with all of the abusive and controlling men on TOWIE?! So glad I don’t live there! I’m sure they’d feel differently if it was their sister/mother/daughter being treated the way they treat women. Lockie Dan and Myles are vile.

    I am sorry but what has happened this season? Why does every single male on this show think it is acceptable to speak to women like absolute shit? Lockie last week Myles this. What the fuck. Where's the respect at 🤷🏼‍♀️ #TOWIE

    While others called ITV out for "dramatising emotional abuse" for ratings.

    @ITVBe, #TOWIE surly showing men being emotionally abusive to their girlfriends should be stopped. Your dramatising it for viewings but in fact your showing young girls it’s ok to take that crap of men.lockie, myles and dan to a degree have been appalling so far and it’s 2nd ep

    What is with all these abusive men in @OnlyWayIsEssex #TOWIE it’s disgusting how they treat these girls and glorifying it on tv is disturbing 😡#myles #lockie #abusivemen #abusiveboyfriends

    Can someone please explain why #towie is normalising/glamourising abusive relationships?! Makes me very very uncomfortable. Calling your girlfriend a ‘dirty little dog’ on national television...?! Who cares about respect, just as long as your ego is intact right?

    Some viewers said they were thinking of boycotting TOWIE as a result.

    Actually thinking of boycotting #Towie - it seems like this show is showing the younger generation that it’s ok for men to verbally abuse women like Lockie and Myles. It will never be ok and it’s disgusting. End of

    @OnlyWayIsEssex How Lockie and Miles have behaved towards women in the last two episodes should not be tolerated and in my eyes are sackable offences. You may as well replace all of your male cast members at this point 👋🏽 (apart from Tommy) #womendeserverespect #towie

    While others called for Lockie and Myles to be axed from the show.

    I think @JamesLock__ and @myles_barnett should be cut from Towie for the disgusting way they speak to their girlfriends. Broadcasting abuse like that, real or not, is not acceptable #towie

    Just an FYI the way the “men” are speaking to the girls on #towie is not normal. Please dont treat anyone with that little respect. I can assure you you dont deserve it and i would never date anyone that spoke to me like that.

    When contacted for comment, ITV gave the following statement to BuzzFeed.

    The Only Way Is Essex reflects the real lives of the cast. The producers strive to portray the whole story without censorship or comment whilst being aware that behaviour should not go unchallenged. This is an on-going series and we follow developments with our cast and their relationships, but in the episodes that have aired there have been scenes that showed fellow cast members' criticism and also reflection and apologies from those involved.

    An example of such quotes included, “That’s someone’s little girl, if you had a daughter one day, would you want her partner to speak to speak to her the way you speak to Yaz?” – Chloe Lewis to Lockie, also “As a mum I’m not happy with James for one minute. It’s just not right, it really isn’t” – Yaz’s Mum to Yaz. “You do not talk to me like that and you will never speak to me like that again. My boyfriend don’t talk to me like that and you will certainly never talk to me like that” Chloe Lewis to Lockie.

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