Leading British entertainment channel ITV2 is under fire for its handling of mental health following suicides by two former stars.
The body of 26-year-old Mike Thalassitis, a 2017 contestant on hit reality TV show Love Island, was found in the woods last Saturday.
In June 2018, former contestant Sophie Gradon also took her life aged 32.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated he was worried about the “significant impact” of “sudden exposure to massive fame”. He argued “any organisation” making “people famous overnight” should “also look after them afterwards.”
Yet ex-Love Island stars denounce precisely the opposite—tweeting “once you are done [...] you don’t get any support unless you’re number one”. Others added that if contestants were “no longer making them money it’s out of sight out of mind.”
In a statement to Metro.co.uk, ITV insisted contributors could “access psychological support before, during and after appearing on the show.”
Do the companies profiting from reality TV have adequate support systems to help participants deal with sudden notoriety, constant social media scrutiny, and online harassment?
Once the show is over, do reality TV producers owe a continued duty of care to contestants?
If you are having suicidal thoughts or feelings, please contact the Samaritans on freephone 116 123—they're open 24 hours and are there to listen.
Credit for this article's header image goes to Getty.