Ireland sanctions Love Island Russian contestants in response to the Ukraine war

Ireland has called for a complete sanction on all Love Island Russian contestants entering the popular reality TV show.

The Irish Minister for Culture and Arts, Catherine Martin TD (Green Party), has called on ITV to impose a ban on Russian contestants from appearing on the popular reality TV show Love Island.

She has also proposed to ban the distribution of the series to Russia. Her call has received cross-party support in Cabinet.

Security Council – raise the sanctions

Love island Russian contestants to be sanctioned.
Credit: Facebook / @LoveIslandITV2

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney TD (FG) has come out in support of Martin’s proposal, stating that “sanctions like this are the only way to make Putin take notice.”

Coveney also undertook to raise the sanctions with the United Nations Security Council, of which Ireland is a member.

“I have instructed our Ambassador to the UN to table this sanction proposal for the next scheduled meeting of the Security Council,” Coveney said.

Likely Impact of Sanctions – let’s hear from Dr Moira O’Shea

Some people don't agree.
Credit: Facebook / @LoveIslandITV2

Professor Steven Jefferies is Senior Lecturer in Slavic Studies at DCU and, along with his colleague Dr Moira O’Shea who heads up the university’s Contemporary Media department, explained the likely impact these sanctions may have on the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

O’Shea, who is opposed to the sanctions, assessed the cultural significance of Love Island.

“Love Island is not only popular in Ireland and the UK but has also achieved worldwide acclaim. The series has been franchised to many international broadcasters.”

She continued, “While the plot and theme of Love Island are loosely similar to Shakespearian romantic comedy, at intervals, the series develops an unexpected tragic tone often likened to the ‘star crosser lovers’ motif of Romeo and Juliet.

Moira likens the show to Romeo and Juliet.

Love Island is exceptionally popular in Russia. Figures released by Televideniye i radio, Russia’s state broadcaster, show that 80% of Moscow’s viewing audience tuned in to the final program of the 2021 series. This far exceeded those of the annual gala performance of the Bolshoi Ballet Company.

“The Love Island reality show, now in its eighth series, has metamorphosed into a popular culture phenomenon. It would be scandalous to exclude Russian participants from the show and to deny the Russian people this cultural experience.”

She said before adding, “In these dark times, we must do all we can to promote unity between East and West.”

Contrary Opinion – no Russian participation

Love Island Russian contestants to be sanctioned.
Credit: Flickr / Bryan Jones

However, Slavic Studies expert Professor Steven Jefferies holds the contrary opinion. “Of course, Russian participation in Love Island should be sanctioned,” he said.

“Vladimir Putin is a dictator. He’s a bullyboy, and the only way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them. Hit them where it hurts, so it were.

“The sanctioning of Oligarch owned yachts, and the imposition of financial restrictions on Russian banks will be of little consequence to the Russian man in the street.

“The ordinary Russian citizen will not take the Love Island sanctions lying down. They showed their fortitude in 1917 by ousting the Czar.

“Russians love and enjoy their culture. Sanctions prohibiting any Russian involvement in Love Island would initiate public unrest. It would cause rioting, revolution and the timely ousting of Putin.” Jefferies said.

In related news – Mrs Brown’s Boys

Mrs Browns Boy will change its name.
Credit: Facebook/ Mrs Brown’s Boys

MeanwhileinIreland can report that BocPix, the production team behind the Mrs Brown’s Boys sitcom, has suspended all Russian cast members and prohibited the show’s airing in Russia.

BocPix has also said that in a show of solidarity with Ukraine, the sitcom will be rebranded as Chlopciki Misis Brown and carry Ukrainian subtitles.