Love Island producer, Lifted Entertainment has expanded its duty of care protocols for season eight. Contestants on the show will receive inclusion training and hear from former Islanders before their appearance on the show.
The Islanders will be offered video training and guidance ahead of the launch of the series on ITV 2. Topics covered include inclusive language, sexuality, race and ethnicity, behaviours, and microaggressions.
In addition to the training, which experts will lead, participants will also watch a video featuring the show’s executive producer and head of welfare, interviewing former participants about their experiences, such as being filmed 24/7 and coping with social media trolling. This care package should go some way to lessen the mental health impact that comes with appearing on a reality TV show.
Duty of care
The duty of care debate was brought to the forefront in the UK TV industry in 2019 when a contestant from the now cancelled Jeremy Kyle Show was found dead at his home several days after filming an episode.
Following the deaths of Caroline Flack, Sophie Gradon, and Mike Thalassitis, there were calls for Love Island to be axed as well, and the show’s aftercare policy was called into question.
Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, two former contestants on Love Island, committed suicide in the years following their appearance on the show and regulator Ofcom strengthened its general duty of care advice following their death.
There have been numerous improvements to the Love Island duty of care procedures, including thorough psychological assessments before filming, mental health services at the location, eight therapy sessions following the show’s conclusion, and general aftercare for at least 14 months.
Ade Rawcliffe, ITV’s Group Director of Diversity and Inclusion, said: “The world we live in is changing every day, and we want all of our Islanders to feel they are part of an inclusive environment in the Villa. As part of our duty of care process, it is also important we play our part in educating our participants to understand and empathise with different perspectives and lived experiences.”
Historically, Black women have had a hard time on the dating show – they are routinely picked last during the initial recoupling ceremony, and they are viewed as ‘undesirable’ by the male Islanders. I don’t believe that inclusion training will make people change their views on the type of people they are attracted to., However, Love Islands’ new duty of care package should hopefully minimise the microaggressions and general ignorance portrayed by some contestants.
Love Island will be on Monday 6 June at 9pm on ITV2.