- Chloe Burrows, a contestant on “Love Island,” received death threats on social media.
- Burrows’ family described the messages as “absolutely disgusting.”
- The show’s broadcaster, ITV, put out a statement saying the posts were “wholly unacceptable.”
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The broadcaster behind “Love Island” has condemned the death threats sent to one of this year’s contestants over social media.
Chloe Burrows, a financial-services marketing executive from Oxford, England, entered the “Love Island” villa on Tuesday as one of the late entries.
When Burrows entered the villa, she had to pick a male contestant to be coupled up with. When Burrows picked Aaron Francis, “Love Island” shocked the contestants and fans by removing Francis’ previous partner Shannon Singh from the villa after just two days as she became the only islander without a partner.
Burrows’ friends and family then shared on Instagram that the star had subsequently received “vile” messages. It’s standard for the stars’ friends or family to run their social-media accounts while they’re on the show, as they’re not allowed to communicate with the outside world while competing.
-Hannah Parker (@Haych_Pea) July 1, 2021
They wrote in a post on her Instagram stories, “We all have thick skin but the amount of trolling Chloe has been receiving is absolutely disgusting.” The post went on to say how the family woke up to hundreds of messages of death threats or telling the star “to kill herself.”
The broadcaster behind “Love Island,” ITV, put out a statement on Thursday urging fans to think before posting. The statement read: “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.”
-Love Island (@LoveIsland) July 1, 2021
Burrows’ family referred to suicides of two previous contestants, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, as well as the original “Love Island” presenter Caroline Flack in their post. The three stars also dealt with negative media attention before their deaths.
Flack’s death spurred an online campaign called #BeKind, which attempts to fight back against online trolling. The hashtag was created in 2017 by a mother, Lucy Alexander, who had lost her son to suicide.
Burrows’ family also referred to the campaign in their post saying, “We are not naive. We know this post won’t put an end to trolling. All the advice we get is to ‘ignore it’ and ‘block the trolls’, sometimes it’s not that easy. Our hope is that this just reminds some of you to #BeKind.”
In 2019, ITV changed the aftercare process for cast members after facing criticism about how the group treats contestants after leaving the series. The broadcaster was also scrutinized at the time for “The Jeremy Kyle Show” after the suicide of a guest – the show has since been taken off air.
Ahead of this summer’s “Love Island” season, ITV also published a new set of duty of care protocols for contestants, which include training on the impact of social media and therapy sessions.