Love Island 2023: ITV bosses make huge changes to summer series from social media ban to behaviour training
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Programme contributors will be offered a full package of measures to ensure they receive support prior to, during and after the filming period on the show. After an initial trial period during this year’s winter Love Island, 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.
ITV has stated this measure has been put in place to ensure that both the Islanders and their families are protected from the adverse effects of social media. The Love Island duty of care policies and procedures are reviewed after each series and reflect feedback from former Islanders.
Series five cast member Amy Hart commented on her experiences with social media: “I didn’t really take into account when I went into the villa that although my best friend was really excited to run my social media account, it was me that signed up to do the show, not my family and not my friends. But it was them that had to read the death threats and it was them that had to read the horrible messages.
“Whereas when I came out, I came out to a great reaction because of the way that I left, and they were the ones who had a hard time when I was in there.”
Series eight finalist Tasha Ghouri added: “I think this is great and needs to be done. I believe it’s 100% the right step in the right direction, I could see there was a lot less trolling and negativity.”
All Islanders will complete video training and receive 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 BCOMS (Black Collective of Media in Sport) founder Leon Mann MBE with DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) consultant Hayley Bennett, disability specialist Shani Dhanda and broadcaster Sean Fletcher. First introduced ahead of Series eight in 2022, these discussions will tackle topics including inclusive language and behaviour, creating safe spaces and being a good ally.
When their time on the show has come to an end, 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.
On the show’s welfare procedures, series seven winner Liam Reardon said: "I found the welfare chats helpful as it gave us a chance to have a small break from villa life and being able to talk to someone off camera. It was nice to speak to someone every few days who wasn’t in the villa and who were there to just listen or offer advice.
“The psychiatrists were a big help too for when times got a little hard.”