GB News suspends Laurence Fox after misogynist comments about female journalist
GB News has suspended the right-wing commentator and failed political candidate, Laurence Fox, after he made offensive comments about a female journalist on Dan Wootton’s show.
PoliticsJOE political correspondent Ava Evans said she was left feeling “physically sick” after Fox used his appearance on the programme to make misogynistic comments about her.
During a segment on Dan Wootton Tonight, on Tuesday (26 September), the former Lewis star said that no “self-respecting man [would] climb into bed with that woman, ever.”
He went on to say that only a “cucked little incel” would choose to sleep with Evans – referring to the right-wing “involuntary celibate” conspiracy theory.
“That little woman has been fed, spoon-fed oppression, day after day after day,” he went on to say.
On Wednesday (27 September), GB News announced that it was launching an investigation, adding that the comments were “totally unacceptable.”
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Writing on social media, they said: “What [Laurence Fox] said does not reflect our values and we apologise unreservedly for the comments and the offence they have caused.”
The right-wing channel later added that Fox, who presents his own GB News show, had been formally suspended while the investigation continues.
“Mr Fox’s suspension is effective immediately and he has been taken off air. We will be apologising formally to Ms Evans today,” they said.
The segment was intended to be a commentary on Evans’ appearance on BBC Politics Live, where, GB News reportedly claimed in a since-deleted online article, that she “smirked” at comedian Geoff Norcott while debating the need for a minister for men.
But the GB News segment descended into Fox using the platform to rant: “Who would want to shag her?”
Wootton, who was seen laughing and smirking during Fox’s tirade, then said he wanted to add “a touch of balance” by paraphrasing a social media post Evans, who is also known as Ava Santina, made in response to the BBC segment.
Following the show, in his own tweet, Wootton said he couldn’t find Evans’ specific post, and that he thought she was brilliant.
“I apologise for what was said during the course of my show,” he said. “This is not what our channel is about.”
In a second apology shared on Wednesday (27 September), Wootton wrote: “I want to reiterate my regret over last night’s exchange with Laurence on GB News. Having looked at the footage, I can see how inappropriate my reaction to his totally unacceptable remarks appears to be and want to be clear that I was in no way amused by the comments.”
Several people have complained to the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, who confirmed that it is “assessing these complaints against our broadcast rules” and will publish the outcome “as quickly as possible.”
In response, journalist and political commentator Owen Jones wrote that, if Ofcom failed to take action, the body “should just pack up and shut themselves down”.
Meanwhile, Labour MP Emily Thornberry said: “This smirking, sniggering [misogyny] needs to be called out. British television should never subject women to this sort of abuse.”
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