Love Island “bombshell” contestant Chloe Burrows has received “vile” abuse and death threats after just three days in the villa, her family and friends have said – in a statement reminding viewers to “be kind”.
Chloe, 25, arrived in the Love Island villa in Majorca a few hours after the original 10 contestants had coupled up, and was tasked with picking her favourite man after just 24 hours – to leave one woman single.
However, when she picked Aaron Francis, 24, at the beginning of Wednesday night’s episode, not only was Shannon Singh, 22, left on her own, she was also sent home.
The elimination came as a huge shock to contestants and viewers, coming so soon after the series’ launch on Monday.
Now, Chloe’s family and friends have shared a message on Instagram to her 43,000 followers to reveal the extent of the abuse her account has received in the wake of Shannon’s departure.
Saying they have “had enough”, they also referenced the suicides of previous contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, as well as the show’s former presenter Caroline Flack, and said: “Have the deaths of Sophie, Mike and Caroline taught us nothing?”
Posting on Instagram Stories, they said: “We hate to introduce ourselves under such vile circumstances but we’ve had enough, after just 3 episodes.
“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 (see next story), 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!”
Following the post, they shared a DM (direct message) they had received – but this appeared to have been removed by Instagram for going against “violence and incitement” guidelines.
In their statement, Chloe’s family and friends 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.
“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.”
In a second post, they shared a photo of Shannon and urged followers to “go and show this beauty some love”.
Several former Love Island stars have spoken out about receiving abuse on social media. Ahead of the series, the show issued a post on Instagram urging viewers to “think before you post”.
Earlier this year ITV bosses confirmed their duty of care protocols and said training on the impact of social media and “how to handle potential negativity” would be given to this year’s contestants.
Dr Paul Litchfield, who was appointed by ITV in 2018 when it launched a review of Love Island’s participant welfare processes, said in a statement released in June: “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.”
Sky News has contacted ITV for comment.