Contestants on this year’s Love Island will take part in inclusion training and hear from former Islanders before appearing on the show as producer, ITV Studios’ Lifted Entertainment, boosts its duty of care protocols for season eight.
Ahead of the series, which launches shortly on ITV 2, the Islanders will be offered video training and guidance covering inclusive language around disability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, behaviours and microaggressions.
A number of experts will helm the training, which is designed to create a safe space within the Love Is land villa, while contestants will also watch a video fronted by the show’s exec and head of welfare interviewing former participants about their experiences such as being filmed 24/7 and dealing with social media trolling.
The move forms part of a package of improvements to the Love Island duty of care procedures, which are now highly extensive including thorough pre-filming psychological assessments, mental health on the ground, eight post-Love Island therapy sessions and at least 14 months’ worth of general aftercare.
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.”
The duty of care debate was thrown open in the UK TV industry in 2019 when a contestant on the now-axed Jeremy Kyle Show was found dead at his home several days after filming an episode.
Two former Love Island contestants, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, were also found to have committed suicide in the years after appearing on Love Island and regulator Ofcom subsequently strengthened its general duty of care advice.