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‘Love Island USA’ Producers Sued Over Alleged Mistreatment Of Cast Members, Labor Violations

Love Island USA, lawsuit, racism, season 4, season 5, peacock, nbc, nbcuniveral, itv, itv america

Producers on NBC’s Love Island USA are facing a new lawsuit by former staffers over alleged mistreatment of cast members and labor violations.

According to a report from PEOPLE, former producers Jasmine Crestwell and Alex Rinks have filed suit against Love Island USA producers ITV and NBCUniversal, claiming contestants were mistreated and that California’s employment laws were violated during filming on the show’s fourth season.

In the filing — which was obtained by PEOPLE — Crestwell and Rinks allege that producers from the UK franchise were hired to “bolster ratings” for the Peacock show despite the crew members having a history of “racism and abusive practices.” Their behaviour had a direct impact on the mental health of the show’s contestants, also known as Islanders, according to the write up.

Producers allegedly “pressured female Islanders to engage in sexual relationships without regard for their personal preferences or genuine consent” and the EPS “were flippant with the concept of sexual consent,” according to the suit. Producers also “openly commented on video feeds of female Islanders showering and having sex, creating a deeply uncomfortable work environment for women on set.”

According to the lawsuit, season 4 contestant Sereniti Springs, “one of the few women of color on the show,” was treated differently from the other Islanders with producers allegedly impeding “her ability to forge connections with male cast members, thus sabotaging her chances on the show.”

Love Island USA, lawsuit, racism, season 4, season 5, peacock, nbc, nbcuniveral, itv, itv america
Staffers on season 4 of Love Island USA have followed a lawsuit against producers and the claims involve allegations the show sabotaged contestant Sereniti Springs. (Photo: NBC)

Crestwell complained about the mistreatment of Springs to executive producer Sophie Bush, who allegedly responded: “We are protecting her because we know none of the boys on the show like her, and we would hate to see her get rejected.”

Additionally, the complaint reveals that Rinks had complained about the “unsafe and unsanitary conditions in the show’s supposedly luxe ‘villa’ — in reality, a ramshackle, dilapidated ranch with inadequate plumbing and inoperable bathrooms.” According to the former staffers claims, the villa remained under construction throughout filming on season 4 and contestants were “restricted to specific portable toilets connected to their rooms.”

Crestwell and Rinks allegedly brought up these concerns to producers on Love Island USA and were later fired for doing so, according to the complaint. The lawsuit claims their termination violates a California labor law which protects against “retaliation against employees who make legally protected complaints of discrimination and OSHA violations.”

While NBCUniversal declined to comment on the allegations, a spokesperson for ITV America did deny the claims in a statement to PEOPLE Magazine: “This is a frivolous attack at an opportunistic moment, timed to the Season 5 debut, made by two former employees who were terminated for cause, purely in relation to their job performance.”

“These characterizations are false,” the statement continues. “Love Island USA’s commitment to diversity and proven track record speaks for itself. We categorically deny the allegations and look forward to defending against these claims in a court of law.”

Love Island USA is a stateside spinoff of the reality series that originally found success in the U.K., with the series recently moving from CBS to Peacock for season 4. The show plants a group of singles in a luxury villa and each week they must “couple up” in order to avoid elimination.

Season 5 of Love Island USA is now airing on Peacock.

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