A documentary which will investigate claims of bullying and harassment behind-the-scenes on ITV’s The X Factor is in the works, according to new reports.
Two production companies are believed to be working on the TV special, which will include interviews with former contestants who claim “bullying, exploitation, and harassment” took place off-camera in the singing competition.
According to The Mail On Sunday, a number of X Factor stars have agreed to take part, including “at least one” of judge Simon Cowell's former aides.
A source told the publication: “There are currently some former contestants telling their stories for the programme." There are some out there who believe they were mistreated by the X Factor machine. They are now going to get their chance to have a say. "
A number of former contestants have been critical of the show in recent years. After the show was axed by ITV last year, Jedward posted on Twitter: “X Factor has been axed. Mission Complete.”
Speaking to ITV News, John Grimes, from the duo, said: “I feel a lot of people have been exploited on the show; people behind the scenes, different contestants have come forward and shared their stories.”
Xfactor has been axed Mission Complete
— JEDWARD (@planetjedward) July 28, 2021
Cher Lloyd has similarly criticised the show, claiming she felt unsupported. Speaking to The Guardian in 2020, Lloyd said: “What baffles me is that they created a character but then, after the show, expected me to be a fully fledged, respected artist." I had to do damage control. And still, at 26 years old, I have to do damage control.
“Years later, I do have some anger towards people for doing that to me.”
Following the claims, a spokesperson for The X Factor (via Metro.co.uk) previously said: “Duty of care to our contestants is of the utmost importance to us." We take welfare very seriously and have measures in place to ensure that they are supported. "