Jeremy Kyle is very much known for its confrontational approach to resolving deep rooted domestic issues, in the form of lie detectors, heated arguments and fiery family debates. It’s a show that’s provided day time TV watchers with entertainment for the past14 years, reaching viewing figures of up to 1 million per episode. However, recent events have caused the show to be axed ‘for good’. But what does this mean for reality TV?
With the show being so entertaining and somewhat laughable, it very easily distracts the viewer from the suffering that the guests on the show actually face. Of course, they choose to go on the show and know that it will be aired, and that they may well be humiliated, but nevertheless guests may not be aware of the repercussions that will inevitably follow.
ITV announced that the Kyle would be axed henceforth, this morning, as it is believed that a guest on the show failed a lie detector test and the results were so devastating to him that he couldn’t face the backlash of said test. This shocking and truly devastating news, has opened up a debate regarding the ethics and care in reality tv in general, and has lead people to question shows such as Love Island, following the deaths of two previous contestants. Obviously, as a society, we need to question whether these people, who take part in reality tv shows, are looked after post production.
However, is targeting Love Island and reality tv shows in general, distracting people from talking about the lack of support Jeremy Kyle contestants receive?
Although the show has a psychotherapist (Graham Stanier) who speaks to the guests during the show, talking through their personal issues in front of a studio audience, there is no privacy or confidentiality in this and could humiliate the guests just as much. Love Island is very much the scapegoat in this scenario and using it as a justification to cancelling Jeremy Kyle is a huge distraction. Just because there isn’t a therapist present on the show, doesn’t mean that there isn’t one behind the camera for support during filming. Yes they are both similar in that the camera is on them at all times and they are both filmed for entertainment, yet making ‘memes’ of silly things the Love Island contestants do is very different to laughing at real life issues the Jeremy Kyle guests are facing. Love Island stars leave the show with a few brand deals waiting for them and about 1 million new fans waiting on their social media pages. Jeremy Kyle fans leave with issues still to face and sometimes even addictions to overcome, so comparing the two is simply miscalculated.
In light of Mental Health Awareness week, I believe each show should be dealt with differently and investigated in line with the content and issue facing the subject. If the general public are going to start pointing the finger at Love Island, then other shows and even sports should be looked at too, for example the treatment of football players after they retire from the game. We would love to hear your thoughts on the situation and whether you think more light needs to be shed on the aftercare of reality TV stars?
Yogurt Top’s thoughts and condolences are whole heartedly with Steven, his family and friends and we encourage you to check up on your loved ones and don’t be afraid to speak out.
Thank you for reading! Bryony X