A popular reality television show is set to return next week despite the fact that it has been linked to multiple suicides. A new season of the British reality show “Love Island” will be premiering on June 28, but for this season, the broadcaster ITV is warning viewers to “think before you post.”
It’s a call to action for social media users to use empathy when posting rather than snark or shaming.
Here’s a look at this season’s cast, the most diverse yet:
Concerns Over ‘Love Island’
This disclaimer is meant to be an effort on the part of network bosses to quell the hate and harassment previous contestants have faced after skyrocketing to fame in the U.K. while appearing on the show.
The show forces groups of single people to form couples while they are cooped up in a luxury apartment in Spain. Most contestants are eliminated as the show goes on.
Concerns have been raised about the mental health of the contestants in the wake of at least three people associated with the show killing themselves.
The show is coming back despite the fact that the mothers of two former contestants who killed themselves have been urging the 2021 cast to drop out of the program
Mothers Of Late Contestants Speak Out
“They should walk away now before it’s too late,” said the mother of Sophie Gradon, who killed herself at the age of 32 after starring on the show in 2016.
Deborah Gradon said her daughter was never the same after appearing on the reality show. It’s one of the most popular programs in the U.K.
“They don’t understand just how much the overnight fame and the trolling can affect them,” she explained of the contestants.
Sophie, who was a former beauty queen, committed suicide in 2018.
Her body was found by her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, who killed himself less than three weeks later.
A coroner would later say that Aaron’s “thinking was muddled by the distress of Sophie’s death,” and “the distress at having found her.”
Deborah has teamed up with Shirley Thalassitis, whose son Mike committed suicide at the age of 26 after appearing in the 2017 version of the program.
“You just can’t predict how being on the show is going to affect people,” Shirley advised.
Former ‘Love Island’ Host Committed Suicide
Caroline Flack, who hosted the reality tv show from 2015 until 2019, committed suicide herself the very next year.
At the time, she was embroiled in a domestic violence case in which she was charged with assaulting her partner Lewis Burton.
Flack became the target of internet trolls as well, and was found dead in an apparent suicide in February of 2020.
The negativity surrounding this show and its fanbase is palpable. It doesn’t seem like a simple disclaimer will be enough to save the mental health of those involved.
“I won’t be happy until the show is off air,” Deborah said emphatically.
ITV Announces Care Protocols
There is a detailed plan in place to support cast members before, during and after filming of Love Island.
— Jade Foster (@JadeFos_) June 16, 2021
They will each get financial management training, therapy sessions with registered professionals and information regarding both the positive and negative aspects appearing on the show can have.
Even with the protocols in place, many are questioning how the show can go on with the number of suicides that have occurred.