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15th Aug 2022

Upcoming X Factor documentary to expose “bullying and exploitation”

Sarah McKenna Barry

The documentary will reportedly give those who felt mistreated a chance to have a say.

According to numerous reports, a documentary set to examine allegations of bullying and exploitation in the singing competition series X Factor is in the works.

The show first aired on British TV in 2004 and enjoyed a 15-year-long run, with the last series airing in 2018. Over its course, the show launched the careers of a number of pop music stars including One Direction, Little Mix, Shayne Ward, Alexandra Burke, Leona Lewis, JLS and Olly Murs.

Despite its popularity, X Factor often faced accusations of exploitation, while a number of stars have since spoken about the alleged mistreatment they experienced during their time on the show. Now, it’s understood that a documentary will examine these claims in full.

According to the Mail on Sunday, two production companies are working on a series, though nothing has been confirmed just yet.

A source told the paper: “There are some who believe they were mistreated by the X Factor machine. They are now going to get their chance to have a say.”

The insider added: “But what is more worrying for Cowell and ITV is that there are some of his former lieutenants who are ready to break their silence on what went on.”

The past few years have seen a number of former X Factor contestants shed some light on how they were treated by production.

Two years ago, for instance, Cher Lloyd told The Sun that she felt like she had been “thrown to the wolves” in the aftermath of X Factor.

Additionally, last year, Irish twins Jedward said that their biggest regret was “not telling the judges on X Factor to fuck off” and that every contestant was a “slave to the show”, while executives “made millions”.

Another contestant, Chico Slimani, spoke about his experience last year. He told talkRADIO that the X Factor machine was like a “conveyor belt”.

Last year, a spokesperson for X Factor 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.”