Love Island could face Ofcom probe days after axe threat over duty of care

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Love Island could face an Ofcom investigation days after the show was told it faced the threat of being axed if duty of care guidelines were breached.

The possibility of a probe comes after more than 600 complaints from the public to the broadcasting watchdog about the ITV show in the first two weeks of the new series.

A spokesperson for Ofcom told Daily Star: "We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate."

Ofcom has also received 391 complaints from viewers who felt the treatment towards Hugo Hammond was unfair during a challenge and during an argument that took place.

  • Love Island hit with more than 600 Ofcom complaints after just two weeks on air

Yesterday Ofcom had said reality series such as Love Island could be taken off air if they failed to comply with new regulations brought in to protect the well-being of contestants.

ITV was previously scrutinised over the duty of care provided to reality TV contestants, following the deaths of two former Love Island contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

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Adam Baxter, Ofcom's Director of Broadcasting Standards, told the Radio Times: "We’re talking about shows like Love Island that attract a high level of media or social-media interest, involve conflict, emotionally challenging situations, or require a person to disclose life-changing or private aspects of their lives.

"We’ve also made clear that, before a person agrees to take part in a TV or radio show, broadcasters must properly tell them about any possible risks to their welfare, and how they’ll seek to minimise these."

"We have the power in the most serious of cases to fine broadcasters or take away their licence to broadcast. However, we would only use these powers in the most exceptional of cases."

He added that broadcasters have a duty of care towards participations of their shows, such as contestants who are not used to being in the public eye.

Current Love Island contestants Chloe Burrows and Toby Aromolaran have recently received death threats on social media, with their families taking to social media asking viewers to 'be kind'.

In response to the threats, Love Island said they were supporting the cast and their families in reporting the abuse.

Love Island said in a statement: "We want Love Island to be a positive experience for all our cast and their friends and family members,’ they wrote in a statement shared on social media.

"Last night’s episode created strong reactions but some viewers’ posts were wholly unacceptable. We take these matters extremely seriously and will support cast members and their families in reporting such posts.

"We would once again urge all our viewers to think before posting, and remember that our Islanders are people with feelings."

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Love Island revealed its duty of care protocols last month, with ITV saying it would provide contestants with 'a minimum of eight therapy sessions on their return home'.

Contestants will also receive training about the impact of social media, 'how to handle potential negativity' and financial management.

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