Ofcom Reaches Decision Over Laurence Fox's 'Misogynistic' And 'Degrading' GB News Tirade

An episode of Dan Wootton's GB News was the most complained-about broadcast of 2023.
Laurence Fox in May 2023
Laurence Fox in May 2023
Amer Ghazzal/Shutterstock

GB News has been found to have breached Ofcom guidelines yet again thanks to a controversial broadcast that aired last year.

Back in September, an episode of Dan Wootton’s GB News show became the most complained-about incident of 2023, after guest Laurence Fox launched into a misogynistic tirade against the journalist Ava Evans live on air.

Fox was dropped from GB News over the incident, while Wootton remains suspended.

On Monday morning, Ofcom announced its ruling that Fox’s remarks – and Wootton’s “limited challenge in response” – went against the media regulator’s broadcasting guidelines.

In a statement posted on Ofcom’s website, they said: “We found that Mr Fox’s comments constituted a highly personal attack on Ms Evans and were potentially highly offensive to viewers.

“They reduced her contribution to a broadcast discussion on mental health – in her professional capacity as a political journalist – to a judgment on whether she, or women like her who publicly expressed their political opinions, were sexually desirable to men. As such, we considered that Mr Fox’s comments were degrading and demeaning both to Ms Evans and women generally and were clearly and unambiguously misogynistic.

“In our view, Mr Wootton’s reaction and limited challenge in response did not mitigate the potential for offence. Rather, they exacerbated it by contributing to the narrative in which a woman’s value was judged by her physical appearance.”

They added: “Our investigation revealed that Mr Wootton’s and GB News’ account of why an apology was not read out differed. However, we did not consider it necessary to explore these differing accounts.

“In any event, no apology was made after the interview with Mr Fox in the remainder of the two-hour programme – nor were any other editorial techniques used to address the potential for offence. We considered this indicated that GB News’ editorial control of this live programme had been inadequate.”

Dan Wootton (pictured here in 2015) is still suspended by GB News
Dan Wootton (pictured here in 2015) is still suspended by GB News
S Meddle/ITV/Shutterstock

“In light of the circumstances of this case, we have significant concerns about GB News’ editorial control of its live output,” they concluded.

“We are requiring GB News to provide further detailed information about its compliance practices in this area for our consideration, and requesting it attends a meeting at our offices to discuss this.”

GB News is currently under investigation from Ofcom over a number of other controversies in recent history – including Rishi Sunak’s “people’s forum” broadcast last month.


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