Love Island has been defended by ITV boss Kevin Lygo amid the increase in Ofcom complaints the reality dating programme received in its 2022 run.
The broadcasting watchdog received nearly 4,000 complaints as a result of the “misogynistic” and “controlling” behaviour displayed by some of this year’s cast, particularly towards Tasha Ghouri, in the show’s July 17 and July 19 episodes.
A further 427 complained about an episode of Aftersun over comments made about Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and the treatment of Jacques O’Neill during his interview with host Laura Whitmore.
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Lygo has now defended ITV by claiming that this year’s duty of care protocols were more “rigorous than ever” and he explained that allowing on-screen controversies can open up important discussions (via The Sun).
He said: “We are moving into a different era here and we have to be very mindful that there is a certain risk to going on television. It may not be exactly what you think it’s going to be as a member of the public, but I don’t think we should stop, because the logical conclusion is: ‘you don’t allow members of the public on telly’. That’s the only way.”
“When you see the attitudes of young people and what they say, you could say some of the things that go on in these shows shouldn’t be shown,” Lygo added. “But from that comes the debate, the discussion and it’s pointed out to contestants themselves and they often later apologise for the error of their ways.
“For example, there was research about why young boys watch Love Island so much. It found they’d never witnessed girls together talking about boys and they found it absolutely fascinating and, hopefully, informative to the fact that muscles aren’t everything.”
Lygo continued to say that the duty of care has come on “leaps and bounds” from previous seasons.
“Their GPs are contacted, psychologists are involved beforehand. During the show there’s access to psychologists and counsellors all the time, and producers are much more skilled in this as well. Then afterwards there’s care for those who’ve come off television.”