Are Love Island contestants victims of work related stress?
Its easy to look at the Love Island contestants and think they’re living the dream on holiday for a few months! But if you think about it, it’s actually pretty draining for them too..
24 hour filming days, various tasks, evictions, and constantly being ‘mugged off’ at recoupling, is understandably going to take a toll on them. Then factor in the pressure that accompanies the whirlwind of instant mega-fame (and love island gossip) they are now experiencing on top!
So should the producers exercise more care to protect the contestants from the pressures and stress that inevitably follows? In UK law, employers have a duty to protect employees from work related stress…should this extend to protect ‘reality’ stars in their new working environment?
In order to make a work related stress claim, the employee must show that: they have a medically recognised psychiatric illness or injury, their work posed a real risk of causing psychiatric illness, and that the employer knew (or ought to have known) that the employee was exposed to risk.
While the nature of the love island contestant’s involvement on the show may not constitute as an employer/employee relationship for the purposes of a potential claim, it’s evident that the contestants are being placed in a position that is highly likely to cause them emotional stress. In fact, the producers go out of their way to do so!
An example is when ITV producers brought in Ellie (Jacks ex-girlfriend) in an effort to cause issues in Jack and Dani’s relationship. As we know, this resulted in Dani breaking down in front of the cameras. Ofcom received over 2,600 complaints about the treatment of Dani by producers, which actually broke the record for number of complaints for the series! Should a young girl have been mentally extorted in this way, for the sake of some drama?
Whilst the producers have a job to do (produce great television), we have to question whether this should come at the potential expense, of the mental health and wellbeing of the contestants?
Producers employ an on-site psychologist for contestants, but is this enough to protect them from possible psychological or emotional harm? In an environment where the more ‘drama’ the better, maybe not. In a world where suicide rates amongst young people are at an all-time high, we think it’s an important discussion to have.
Recently, Women’s Aid even expressed their concern about Adam’s treatment of Rosie. The Charities CEO spoke out and stated that while the environment is artificial on Love Island; similar behaviour in the real world would be highly problematic.
This seems to be a part of the problem in considering the environment on Love Island as ‘artificial’. Whilst this may be the case for viewers, we should remember that for the contestants on the show, it is the real world.
Rosie has since stated that she has received support since leaving the villa, but we wonder whether the producers should have stepped in whilst Rosie was actually in that environment? Should Adam have been reprimanded for his actions? As we know, Adam did go on to apologise to Rosie for his actions, however this was after some time of viewers seeing Rosie extremely upset.
Laura has also exhibited signs of extreme stress and emotional upset, such as when Wes ‘mugged her off’ for Megan. Further, ‘kiss gate’ between Jack and Georgia, led Laura’s sister and the majority of the UK to massively criticise producers and the show for not telling Laura the truth about the kiss.
While the contestants may be unable in law to claim for work related stress, we should remember to think a little more about them being actual human beings (as physically blessed as they may be), they still have the capability to suffer extreme stress and emotional distress.
Regardless, we’re still obsessed with Love Island. Please share this article…and suggestions on how to fill the Love Island void in our lives are welcome!
Picture credit to ITV2 and www.express.co.uk (love island 2018 – Dani Dyer)