Vicky Pattinson has urged people watching Love Island to take care over what they say about this year’s contestants on social media, pointing to the “detrimental and irreversible” effect that “reckless opinions” can have on a person’s mental health.
The former Geordie Shore and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here star made the comments on Instagram alongside a photograph of former Love Island stars Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, both of whom took their own lives in the last year.
Pattinson encouraged her 4.3m followers to put their personal opinions aside when making comments online about the cast of the ITV2 reality programme and be “mindful” about what they said, adding: “Why are people still attacking these islanders with such verbal vitriol?!”
The 31-year-old continued: “These people are no different to you and me and they have feelings and these hateful comments with have ramifications we can’t even begin to understand.
“It’s so ludicrous to me that after everything that’s happened this past year I’m still having to urge people to be kind but here we are. We have lost too many people and I know this isn’t confined to the world of reality TV.”
Pattinson pointed out that people’s words “have gravity” and asked those reading to “think before [they] type”.
“Please be better than this internet culture of hate,” she concluded.
“Do not allow it to breed. Be kind, be compassionate. Be human. Let’s put the ‘love’ back in ‘love island’ for Sophie & Mike.”
Pattinson’s post has already garnered more than 88,500 likes and thousands of comments from fellow reality TV stars agreeing with her points, including Ex on the Beach’s Jess Impiazzi and Geordie Shore’s Holly Hagan.
The message comes one day after the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee began an inquiry into reality TV in light of Gradon and Thalassitis’ deaths and, most recently, the death of Steve Dymond, who had been a guest on The Jeremy Kyle Show.