Following a controversy regarding sexism that resulted in 7,300 complaints, the media regulator known as Ofcom has begun an investigation into the Dan Wootton Tonight show that airs on GB News.
During Tuesday’s live broadcast, Laurence Fox caused controversy when he insulted journalist Ava Evans by asking what “self-respecting man” would “climb into bed” with her. This question garnered much criticism.
Ofcom has stated that it will investigate the episode in accordance with the regulations on offense.
An earlier report from MailOnline stated that Wootton’s columnist contract had been terminated.
This comes a day after two of GB News’ most high-profile presenters, Wootton and Fox, were both suspended by the channel.
Fox issued an apology on Thursday, saying that he was “sorry for demeaning” Evans, and Wootton also issued an apology, saying that he should have stepped in.
During an interview on BBC Radio 4 PM, Ofcom’s chief executive, Dame Melanie Dawes, stated that there were “good reasons to think there may have been a breach” of the organization’s guidelines against offensive content.
She stated that “Obviously there has been a lot of concern about this, and that is the reason why we have actually acted very quickly this week.”
She went on to say that on a broader scale, there was a “real issue with misogyny” in conversation, especially on social media.
The investigation was initiated by Ofcom in accordance with rule 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code, which states that broadcasters are responsible for ensuring that content that may cause offense is justified by the context.
“following events this week,” the publisher of MailOnline revealed earlier that he had fired Wootton, who had previously published a column for the newspaper since 2021. Wootton was fired “as a result of the events that took place this week.”
A representative from DMG Media issued the following statement: “DMG Media can confirm that Dan Wootton’s freelance column with MailOnline, which had already been paused, has now been terminated, along with his contract.”
The column was put on hold by the publication a month ago when it made the announcement that it would be investigating charges that he used a phony internet identity to offer individuals money in exchange for sexually explicit pictures.
Wootton has acknowledged making “errors of judgment,” but he vehemently denies any involvement in any criminal activity.
In the meantime, Fox, who first stated that he stood by his words, apologized to Evans, the political journalist for PoliticsJOE, on Thursday evening in a 15-minute video despite the fact that he indicated he was still upset at her. Evans was covering the Democratic National Convention.
He apologized for treating you in such a manner, saying, “It’s demeaning to her, to Ava, so I’m sorry for demeaning you in that way.”
He continued by saying, “I am fully aware that I will be fired tomorrow.”
Why did Dan Wootton be suspended from the team?
Fox criticized Evans over her opinions on the concept of a minister for males, which she articulated during an interview on BBC Politics Live. This is what triggered the sexism row, which was followed by the row.
Specifically addressing Dan Wootton Fox, speaking on Tuesday evening, stated, “We’re past the watershed, so I can say this.” Show me one respectable man who would want to crawl into bed with that woman, and I’ll show you a man who doesn’t respect himself.
“Who in their right mind would want to shag that?”
Throughout Fox’s words, Wootton could be seen smiling and laughing. After Fox finished speaking, Wootton added, as “a touch of balance,” that Evans had qualified her comments and called her a “very beautiful woman.” Wootton could be seen smiling and laughing throughout Fox’s remarks.
The statements were described as “totally unacceptable” by GB News, which also stated that it was looking into the matter. The remarks were roundly criticized by prominent members of the media and political figures.
Evans, in her response to the insult, stated that the words made her feel “disgusting,” and that since then, she had received threats online, including a message urging her to “watch her back.”
Evans is now urging Conservative Members of Parliament to refrain from appearing on GB News.
Presenters on GB News include several current members of the Conservative Party’s parliamentary caucus, such as Lee Anderson, the Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, who is paid £100,000 per year by the broadcaster.
In the face of criticism for his involvement on television, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak defended Mr. Anderson on Thursday, claiming that he had his “total support” in the matter.
This comes after Conservative MP Caroline Nokes stated on the BBC’s Newsnight program that members of Parliament should not be “swanning off in some cases several times a week” to conduct a television show.
After conducting an investigation, Ofcom may come to the conclusion that a matter has violated its rules, been settled, or does not violate its regulations.
If a broadcaster violates the regulations repeatedly or in a manner that the regulator deems to be significant, the regulator also possesses the legal authority to apply appropriate consequences.
A significant fine or the revocation of a channel’s broadcasting license are two examples of the possible consequences that could be imposed.
Ofcom determined that GB News had violated its rules on impartiality when it conducted an interview with the chancellor Jeremy Hunt one month ago. This is the third violation of Ofcom rules that has been logged against the channel since it first went on air in June 2021.
GB News was founded with the promise to “change the face of news and debate in the UK,” and Ofcom has confirmed to the BBC that it is still conducting 12 investigations into the company.
Gordon Brown, a former British prime minister, gave an interview to Sky News on Wednesday in which he stated that Ofcom “needed to have more teeth to deal with issues of standards” and that “you can not have this fall in standards and allow it to continue.”
As a response to the criticism, the chief executive officer of Ofcom, Dame Melanie, stated as follows: “We’re ready to act when we think there’s a problem, but we don’t censor we always look at a programme after they’ve been aired – that’s baked into the law and I think it’s a really important principle.”