British broadcaster ITV has detailed new duty of care processes for its upcoming season of Love Island.
The hit reality series has recently suffered suicides of two of its participants after broadcast, while The Jeremy Kyle Show has ceased production after the death of a participant.
The tragedies have put Reality TV production under the spotlight, whilst in Australia there are also calls for limits on production techniques. Nine will screen a second Love Island Australia season later this year.
ITV (UK) says the key changes this year include
- enhanced psychological support
- more detailed conversations with potential Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show
- bespoke training for all Islanders on social media
- financial management and a proactive aftercare package to all Islanders following their participation.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Paul Litchfield who has been hired by the show said, “I have reviewed Love Island’s duty of care processes from end to end and they show a degree of diligence that demonstrates the seriousness with which this is taken by the production team.
“The processes and the support offered to Islanders have necessarily evolved as the show has developed and grown in popularity. The aim throughout has been to identify vulnerabilities at an early stage so that necessary adjustments can be made or potential Islanders can be advised that the show is not right for them. A high level of professional expertise has been engaged to provide comprehensive support not only while young people are actively engaged with the show but also for an extended period when they are adjusting to life thereafter. Professional input is a key element in safeguarding the wellbeing of Islanders but the genuine caring attitudes I have observed from those who make the show are as important.”
Creative Director ITV Studios Entertainment Richard Cowles said: “We’re very excited that Love Island is back for another series. It is the nation’s favourite dating show and we have a fabulous new cast of young singles all looking for love and ready for a summer of romance in the iconic Love Island villa.
“The format of the new series will be familiar to Love Island viewers and we can’t wait to see how the new Islanders take to life in the villa and how relationships blossom. We hope that viewers will be hooked as they watch these young singles fall in love – hopefully it will be a summer to remember for both the Islanders and our viewers.
“Due to the success of the show our Islanders can find themselves in the public eye following their appearance. We really want to make sure they have given real consideration to this and what appearing on TV entails. Discussing all of this with us forms a big part of the casting process and, ultimately, their decision to take part.
“Also, as we are outlining today our welfare processes follow three key stages: pre-filming, filming and aftercare and we are increasing our post filming support to help Islanders following their time in villa.”
Love Island UK also screens in Australia on 9GO!
The duty of care process for series 5 includes:
Pre Filming and Filming
– Psychological consultant engaged throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare.
– Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and discussion with each Islander’s own GP to check medical history.
– Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose any relevant medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them.
– Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear.
– Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them.
– Senior Team on the ground have received training in Mental Health First Aid.
– A welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.
– Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home.
– A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be provided to each Islander when they return home.
– Proactive contact with islanders for a period of 14 months up until the end of the next series. This means contact with the Islander will last for 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable.
– We encourage Islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.