Love Island executive producer Mike Spencer has revealed that banning contestants from using social media during filming helped protect families from reading “distressing” abuse.
Lifted Entertainment, the ITV Studios production outfit behind Love Island, asked all islanders this year to pause their use of Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms during their time in the villa.
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During previous seasons of the dating show, families, friends or other representatives were able to post updates on behalf of contestants throughout filming to drum up support or build their brand.
“If I was a parent, I would probably go through the direct messages while they are in there, have a little scan through what they’re saying,” Spencer told an Edinburgh TV Festival session on dating shows. “There were some really stressful situations for parents.”
Lifted’s creative director added: “For us, it was to alleviate some of that pressure from the families. Let’s just put a pause on those accounts and pick them back up after [they have left the show]. It has worked. The parents haven’t been distressed by what they’ve seen because they just haven’t seen it.”
The measure was introduced as part of a package of welfare reforms for Love Island stars following intense scrutiny over the wellbeing of contestants.
Dr Matthew Gould, a psychologist who consults on the show, said: “The bold decision to pause islanders’ social media activity during the new series is testament to ITV’s serious intent, especially as this input provides both a benefit to the appeal of the programme and a potential source of mental health problems.”
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