Former X-Factor UK Contestant Calls For Reality TV Mental Health Fund

Post by: AYS Staff 17 July, 2023

In an upcoming memoir, former The X-Factor contestant Lucy Spraggin argues that reality TV production companies should set aside a percentage of their budget for a "mental health pension fund" for contestants, production staff and presenters.

Spraggin - who appeared on The X Factor in 2012 - reveals in her new book that she was raped by a hotel employee following a party thrown to celebrate the birthday of fellow contestant Rylan Clark. She says that a number of X Factor crew were in attendance, which she argues was inappropriate. "How can you fulfil your duty of care when free alcohol is involved?"

While Spraggin did recieve both financial and medical support immediately following the crime, she says she wasn't provided with any mental health assistance during or after the trial of her attacker, who received a ten-year prison sentence.

The show aired in the UK on ITV, which has been the target of several other recent complaints from former reality TV show participants, some of them related to the series Love Island.

In June, former X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson revealed she had sent the network a letter in 2021 asking for an investigation of what she referred to as "an abuse of power" when she appeared on the show in 2010.

In a statement released to the press, ITV said "The X Factor was produced by Thames and Syco, who were primarily responsible for duty of care towards all of its programme contributors. ITV as a commissioning broadcaster is committed to having in place suitable and robust oversight procedures, with a view to ensuring that independent producers employ the correct processes to protect the mental health and welfare of participants. We have evolved and improved these oversight procedures since the events in question and we are encouraged to hear that Thames recognises the importance of continuous review and improvement of their own processes."

"We continue to evolve our own duty of care processes on programmes we produce to ensure that there are appropriate measures in place to support contributors before, during and after filming. In an event of such a distressing nature, welfare and support towards the victim would always be of the utmost priority."

The statement went on to say the network has the "deepest compassion for Lucy and everything she has endured as a result of this horrific ordeal."

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Last modified on Monday, 17 July 2023 07:54