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ITV and Love Island producers detail duty-of-care efforts as dating show returns

The UK version of dating format Love Island

ITV, ITV Studios-owned Lifted Entertainment and Motion Content Group have unveiled the latest duty-of-care procedures for Love Island participants ahead of the dating show’s 10th season this summer.

The UK commercial broadcaster said those involved will be offered a full package of measures to ensure they remain supported before, during and after the filming of the show, which will air on ITV2 and be streamed on ITVX.

ITV and Love Island producers have been increasing their duty-of-care practices after two former contestants, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, and show host Caroline Flack all died by suicide in recent years.

After an initial trial period, the show will now formally introduce a guideline asking participants to pause social media handles and accounts for the duration of their time on the show, to ensure both the participants – dubbed ‘Islanders’ – and their families are protected from the adverse effects of social media.

All Islanders will complete video training and guidance across a range of topics to include mutually respectful behaviour in relationships, behaviour patterns associated with controlling and coercive behaviour and language around disability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, and microaggressions before they meet their fellow Islanders.

The inclusion training consists of conversations chaired by Black Collective of Media in Sport founder Leon Mann MBE with diversity, equity and inclusion consultant Hayley Bennett, disability specialist Shani Dhanda and broadcaster Sean Fletcher.

First introduced ahead of season eight in 2022, these discussions will tackle topics including inclusive language and behaviour, creating safe spaces and being a good ally.

Prior to appearing on the show, prospective Islanders will also watch a video fronted by the show’s executive producer and head of welfare interviewing former Islanders about their experiences on the show.

This includes details on the two-week period before they enter the villa, how to cope being filmed 24/7, the interaction they will have with producers in the villa, the support provided to family members, dealing with social media trolling and adapting to life away from the show.

Both Dr Paul Litchfield and Dr Matthew Gould continue to independently review and continually evolve ITV’s duty-of-care measures and to work alongside programme makers.

Dr Litchfield said: “The measures put in place to safeguard the health and wellbeing of Islanders continue to evolve in the light of experience and advances in best practice. Love Island is seen by many as the benchmark for the genre and its rigorous, evidence-based approach has helped to raise standards across the industry.”

Dr Gould said: “Maintaining on-going creativity combined with enhanced duty of care is the difficult equation to balance, and significant strides have been made in this respect. It is important not to stifle the spark and spontaneity that Islanders uniquely bring to the format. A determined focus on building the psychological evidence-base will help to maintain this balance.”


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