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Love Island 2021: Dr Alex George slams trolls who have sent death threats to Islanders

Dr Alex George has slammed the vile trolls sending death threats and hateful messages to the 2021 Love Island contestants.

The doctor, 30, who took part in the fourth series, shared a powerful statement on Friday after it was revealed that Chloe Burrows, 25, has been inundated with threats since entering the Majorca villa on Monday.

Posting to Instagram, Dr Alex remembered his late sibling Llŷr and the show’s former host as he wrote: ‘As someone who has lost a brother to suicide, I find this truly sickening. Have we learnt nothing since the passing of our beloved Caroline Flack?’

Shocked: Dr Alex George has slammed the vile trolls sending death threats and hateful messages to the 2021 Love Island contestants (pictured on Lorraine in June)

Alex’s full message read: ‘I am shocked and appalled at what we have witnessed online over the last few days.

‘I am saddened to see how much negativity and hate there has been online during this series of Love Island.

‘Hard to comprehend that people are sending death threats and encouraging contestants to “kill them selves” just because they don’t like what they are seeing on screen.

‘As someone who has lost a brother to suicide, I find this truly sickening. Have we learnt nothing since the passing of our beloved Caroline Flack?

Tragic: The former Love Island star, who lost his brother Llŷr (pictured) in July 2020 who died by suicide, said he was 'shocked and appalled' to see so much hate online

Tragic: The former Love Island star, who lost his brother Llŷr (pictured) in July 2020 who died by suicide, said he was ‘shocked and appalled’ to see so much hate online

Devastating: In February 2020, the host of Love Island, Caroline, was found dead at her home after taking her own life, a day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in 2019 (pictured in 2019)

Devastating: In February 2020, the host of Love Island, Caroline, was found dead at her home after taking her own life, a day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in 2019 (pictured in 2019)

‘There is no justification for online bullying and abuse. Before you send hateful vitriol, have a little think. 

‘What if that was your brother or sister receiving that. what if that was your child on the end of that hate? THINK before you type. Be Kind. Always.’

Sharing the powerful statement to his grid, Alex also wrote in the caption: ‘The online events of the last few days has been nothing short of shocking. 

‘As youth mental health ambassador I am currently working on an anti-bullying campaign, fair to say recent events have justified it’s need more than ever. 

‘Please think before you type. Be kind.’

'It's hard to comprehend': Dr Alex said there's never any 'justification for online bullying or abuse' in his powerful statement

‘It’s hard to comprehend’: Dr Alex said there’s never any ‘justification for online bullying or abuse’ in his powerful statement

'It has been nothing short of shocking': The reality star, who is also a youth mental health ambassador for the government, added that he's working on an anti-bullying campaign

‘It has been nothing short of shocking’: The reality star, who is also a youth mental health ambassador for the government, added that he’s working on an anti-bullying campaign

In July 2020, Dr Alex suffered the devastating lost of his brother Llŷr, who took his own life aged 19, weeks before he was due to begin medical school. 

While presenter Caroline Flack died by suicide at the age of 40 in February 2020.

Ahead of Thursday night’s episode of Love Island, bosses issued a warning urging viewers to ‘think before they post’ about contestants on social media in a bid to clamp down on online trolling. 

Bosses were forced to take action after newcomer Chloe was subjected to death threats by trolls just three days into the new series of the ITV2 dating show airing. 

Awful: It comes after Love Island's late arrival Chloe Burrows, 25, was inundated with hundreds of vile death from online trolls (pictured on the show on Wednesday's episode)

Awful: It comes after Love Island’s late arrival Chloe Burrows, 25, was inundated with hundreds of vile death from online trolls (pictured on the show on Wednesday’s episode)

Think twice: Love Island issues statement on Thursday urging people to 'think before they post' after Chloe was subjected to death threats just THREE days into show

Think twice: Love Island issues statement on Thursday urging people to ‘think before they post’ after Chloe was subjected to death threats just THREE days into show

Chloe’s family made a plea for viewers to ‘Be Kind’ as they asked: ‘Have the deaths of Sophie, Mike and Caroline taught us nothing?’ 

Responding to the excessive trolling Chloe has received, Love Island posted a statement to its official Instagram page – insisting the extreme reactions of some viewers were ‘wholly unacceptable’. 

They warned that they take such matters ‘extremely serious’ and will fully support contestants and their families in reporting abusive messages.

The statement read: ‘We want Love Island to be a positive experience for all our cast and their friends and family members. 

‘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.’ 

Shock: On Wednesday's episode Chloe picked Aaron Francis, 24, (pictured together) to couple up with, meaning Shannon Singh, 22, was left single and sent home in a shock dumping

Shock: On Wednesday’s episode Chloe picked Aaron Francis, 24, (pictured together) to couple up with, meaning Shannon Singh, 22, was left single and sent home in a shock dumping

It continued: ‘We would once again urge all of our viewers to think before posting, and remember that our Islanders are people with feelings.’

It came after Chloe’s family – manning her social media accounts while she is in the villa – revealed she has been targeted with hundreds of vile death threats after appearing on the show for just three days.

On Wednesday’s episode the blonde beauty picked Aaron Francis, 24, to couple up with, meaning Shannon Singh, 22, was left single and sent home in a shock dumping – sparking lots of trolls to send messages to Chloe’s social media accounts. 

Sharing a statement and example of a message, they wrote: ‘We hate to introduce ourselves under such vile circumstances but we’ve had enough, after just 3 episodes.

'Have the deaths of Sophie, Mike and Caroline taught us nothing?' Chloe's family and friends took to Instagram to beg viewers to be kind going forward with the reality show

‘Have the deaths of Sophie, Mike and Caroline taught us nothing?’ Chloe’s family and friends took to Instagram to beg viewers to be kind going forward with the reality show

Vile: They also posted an example of one of the disgusting messages sent to Chloe by a troll

Vile: They also posted an example of one of the disgusting messages sent to Chloe by a troll

‘We all have thick skin but the amount of trolling Chloe has been receiving is absolutely disgusting. This morning we woke up to yet another DM encouraging Chloe to kill herself – there have been HUNDREDS.

‘Have the deaths of Sophie, Mike and Caroline taught us nothing?

‘Not only that, but people are flooding her inbox threatening to kill her themselves. People… this is a GAME show, there is a cash prize!’ 

They continued: ‘We understand the frustration surrounding @shannonsinghhh ‘s eviction – we feel it too! She didn’t deserve to leave so early but Chloe does not deserve to DIE because Shannon had to leave the villa!

‘She will have had no idea of the repercussions of her decision prior to making it.’

Saying goodbye: After Chloe picked Aaron, Shannon got a text saying she had to leave the island straight away (pictured to the two women embracing ahead of her surprise exit)

Saying goodbye: After Chloe picked Aaron, Shannon got a text saying she had to leave the island straight away (pictured to the two women embracing ahead of her surprise exit)

Ending their plea, they wrote: ‘We are not naive. We know that 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 x’ 

In another post they revealed a vile message sent to Chloe which called her ‘so ugly, annoying and jarring’ and said: ‘Can you just fall in the firepit and die’. 

They also blamed Chloe for Shannon’s dumping, ominously penning: ‘You got rid of Shannon, I’ll get rid of you’. 

Love Island bosses had also asked viewers to ‘think before you post’ ahead of the new series kicking off on Monday. 

Stern reminder: Love Island bosses had warned viewers to 'think before you post' during the new series in an Instagram post ahead of the show starting on Monday

Stern reminder: Love Island bosses had warned viewers to ‘think before you post’ during the new series in an Instagram post ahead of the show starting on Monday

Love Island duty of care protocols in full – ahead of 2021 series   

Pre-filming and filming

  • Registered mental health professional engaged throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare. 
  • Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and reports from each Islander’s own GP to check medical history. 
  • Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose any medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them.  
  • Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear. 
  • Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them. 
  • Senior Team on the ground have received training in Mental Health First Aid. 
  • A welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.

Aftercare 

  • Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home. 
  • A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be offered to each Islander when they return home. 
  • Proactive contact with Islanders for a period of 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable. 
  • We encourage Islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.

 

The series has become known to attract trolls online, and many former Islanders have slammed the show, claiming they have suffered with mental health issues after taking part on it. 

Two past contestants have died by suicide as well as the show’s host Caroline. 

Sophie Gradon, who was 32, died by suicide in 2018, while Mike Thalassitis died the following year aged 26. Both had starred on Love Island, with Sophie appearing on series two of the reality series and Mike starring on the show’s third season.  

Ahead of the show starting, Love Island execs also confirmed the show’s duty of care protocols. 

Heartbreaking: Sophie Gradon, who was 32, died by suicide in 2018, after being a contestant on the show in 2016 (pictured in a promo shot for her villa stint)

Heartbreaking: Sophie Gradon, who was 32, died by suicide in 2018, after being a contestant on the show in 2016 (pictured in a promo shot for her villa stint)

Tragic: Mike Thalassitis, who was 26, died by suicide in March 2019 after taking part in Love Island in 2017 (pictured in his official Love Island picture)

Tragic: Mike Thalassitis, who was 26, died by suicide in March 2019 after taking part in Love Island in 2017 (pictured in his official Love Island picture)

Dr. Paul Litchfield – who ITV appointed in 2018 to review the show’s participant welfare processes – said: ‘Society’s appreciation of the importance of mental health and wellbeing has grown enormously in recent years and the pandemic has brought that into even sharper focus.

‘Reducing the risk of harm, where possible, is an imperative but promoting good mental health is also necessary.

‘ITV’s evolving commitment to these issues, backed up by tangible action, is an example to others in the industry and beyond.’

The process for ‘all contributors involved’ in the show includes ‘comprehensive psychological support’ and ‘training for all Islanders on the impacts of social media and handling potential negativity’.

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

LOVE ISLAND 2021: MEET THE CONTESTANTS

Sharon Gaffka

 Sharon Gaffka

Name: Sharon Gaffka

Age: 25

Location: Oxford

Occupation: Civil Servant – Operations Lead for Department of Transport

Who is their type on paper? ‘I tend to date someone who is taller than me, even though my last long-term partner, he was actually someone who was shorter than me. 

‘I’m quite an intellectual person so I want someone who can kind of match that.’

Aaron Francis

 Aaron Francis

Name: Aaron Francis

Age: 24

Location: London

Occupation: Luxury Events Host

Who is their type on paper? ‘I need someone that is passionate about what they are doing – from scientist to anything – you can tell when someone is speaking about something and they are actually smiling while they are talking. I love that. 

‘I don’t like when people are doing a job just to make money and then they kind of just live for the weekend. Especially because I work on the weekends.’

Liberty Poole

 Liberty Poole

Name: Liberty Poole

Age: 21

Location: Birmingham

Occupation: Nando’s Waitress and Marketing Student

Who is their type on paper? ‘So I like tall, alpha male, confident, a cheeky chappy sort of guy. 

‘But obviously that’s always usually combined with player types, which is where I go wrong. So I am trying to change my ways and go for more of a nicer guy that is going to treat me right.’ 

 

Hugo Hammond

 Hugo Hammond

Name: Hugo Hammond

Age: 24

Location: Hampshire

Occupation: PE Teacher

Who is their type on paper? ‘I’ve been single for a while now. With the current climate, it’s been really hard to get back into dating. 

‘I saw it as an opportunity to have an amazing fun summer and put myself back out there.’

 

Liam Reardon

Liam Reardon 

Name: Liam Reardon

Age: 21

Location: Wales

Occupation: Bricklayer

Are you competitive? ‘I am competitive to a certain extent. I’m not over the top. It’s always nice being a winner. If I’m in competition for a female, I want to try my best, but I won’t go too far out of my way. If she liked you that much she wouldn’t have to make a choice.’

Jake Cornish

Jake Cornish

 Name: Jake Cornish

Age: 24

Location: Weston-super-Mare

Occupation: Water Engineer

Who is their type on paper? ‘Looks wise, always gone for blondes. But for me, the main thing is having respect and having good fun, and someone who will be loyal to you…

‘I’ve had messages from girls that have got boyfriends and husbands. This is why I don’t trust anyone. Someone who is loyal really. But when I’m single, I like having a good time!’

Kaz Kamwi

Kaz Kamwi

Name: Kaz Kamwi

Age: 26

Location: Essex

Occupation: Fashion Blogger

Who is their type on paper? ‘I like meeting new people, I’m ready to be in a relationship. Why not be in a place where people are looking for the same things as me?’ 

Chloe Burrows

Chloe Burrows

Name: Chloe Burrows

Age: 25

Location: Bicester

Occupation: Financial Services Marketing Executive

Who is their type on paper? ‘I like a good build. I go to the gym. I want someone who is funny. Really funny and caring and will do nice little things for you. 

‘And then obviously someone who you can depend on to not ditch you. Because I am quite a big character and quite loud, they would have to be as loud, if not more. 

‘I could never be with someone who is quiet. Someone that gives you a bit back’

Faye Winter

Faye Winter

Name: Faye Winter

Age: 26

Location: Devon

Occupation: Letting Manager  

What is her type on paper? ‘Someone that will put me in my place. Someone that makes me laugh. But also someone that takes my banter. I’m like a five-year-old in a playground, if I like you, I will make a mockery of you and laugh and joke. That is my really terrible flirting skills. I need someone who can take that.’

Brad McClelland

Brad McClelland

Name: Brad McClelland

Age: 26

Location: Northumberland

Occupation: Labourer

Who is their type on paper? Sommer Ray from Instagram. Zara McDermott, she’s a good-looking lass. Or Megan Fox.

Toby Aromolaran

Toby Aromolaran 

Name: Toby Aromolaran

Age: 22

Location: Essex

Occupation: Semi-pro footballer

How would he describe himself? ‘Optimistic. I always see the bright side in the worst situations. I’m a fun guy when I go on a night out. Responsible guy as well.’

 

 

  

 

Chuggs Wallis

Chuggs Wallis

Name: Chuggs Wallis

Age: 23

Location: Surrey

Occupation: Hat entrepreneur

Why did you sign up for Love Island? ‘I just feel like it’s now or never. I’m only 23 but I’m scared of aging. Especially as half of my last year of uni was taken away and we had so many fun plans. With Covid and the pandemic, I feel like I’ve missed a year of my youth, so I’m really gagging to get it all back – make the most of it.’


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