British broadcaster ITV canceled The Jeremy Kyle Show after a former guest of the tabloid-style show committed suicide. Kyle’s show, which also aired in syndication in the U.S., had run for 14 years, but the show came to a complete stop after the death of a guest who failed a lie-detector test during a taping of the show earlier this month.
While his intentions might have been good, Steve Dymond appeared on the show to prove to his fiancee that he had not been unfaithful in their relationship. To do that, he took a lie detector test.
Unfortunately, he failed that lie detector test and the couple split up. Then, on May 9 in Portsmouth, England, Dymond was found dead in his home. Police have commented that his death was not suspicious, but the exact cause of death has not been determined as of yet.
Although the episode that featured Dymond has not aired, ITV canceled the show soon after suspending production.
“Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show,” ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said.
While the show is still listed on the network’s website, the links go right back to the home page.
This isn’t the first time that controversy over sensational reality TV programming has plagued ITV. The deaths of Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, two contestants on Love Island, died after their appearances on the network.
While Gradon’s death was ruled a suicide, an investigation into Thalassitis’ death has not begun yet.
In a meeting held on Wednesday, Lawmaker Damian Collins, chairman of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said that there would be a discussion about “what should be done to review the duty of care support for people appearing in reality TV shows”.
Some have taken TV shows like Jeremy Kyle’s with a grain of salt, assuming them to be staged to receive good ratings but others like former head of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Simon Wessely, said the show was an example of “the theatre of cruelty.”
The outrageousness of reality shows like The Jeremy Kyle Show, The Jerry Springer Show and others of that sort have come under fire in recent years, criticized for ignoring the well-being of those who appear on them in exchange for increased sensationalism and ratings.