ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall has been called to give evidence to a parliamentary committee to answer questions about the broadcaster’s approach to safeguarding and complaint handling following the departure of Phillip Schofield from This Morning.
The chief executive, who wrote a letter to Parliament on Wednesday in which she revealed the broadcaster had commissioned an external review in the wake of Schofield’s exit, would face questions from MPs on the This Morning row at a session of the Culture, Media and Sport committee on June 14.
Schofield, 61, resigned from the broadcaster last week and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an “unwise but not illegal” affair with a younger male colleague.
Dame Caroline Dinenage, who was one of the addressees of Wednesday’s letter, said in a written response on Thursday: “The Committee regards the media industry’s duty of care towards its staff a matter of the highest importance.
“Whilst the recent coverage focuses on the Schofield case, it also raises fundamental issues about safeguarding and complaint handling both at ITV and more widely across the media.
“These issues should, particularly in the case of public service broadcasters, be open to scrutiny. The public must have confidence in the robustness of public service broadcasters’ safeguarding procedures.
“Whilst these are issues that we want to discuss first with ITV, we will also consider them in our regular scrutiny sessions with other public service broadcasters, including the BBC later this month and Channel 4 later in the year.”
Following reports Dame Carolyn was asked to appear at a parliamentary session next week, it has been confirmed the session on June 6 previously scheduled with ITV and other commercial public service broadcasters will focus on “its intended purpose of scrutinising the Government’s draft Media Bill”, while the session on June 14 could see Dame Carolyn face questions from MPs on the This Morning row.
ITV and its award-winning show This Morning, have been plunged into chaos over the past few weeks, since rumours of a "feud" between former co-presenters, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, emerged.
After mounting pressure, Phillip announced on May 20 that he had stepped down from the show that he had fronted for more than 20 years.
Less than a week later, Phillip released a very lengthy statement, in which he admitted to having a longterm affair with a male runner on the show, whilst still married to his wife, Stephanie Lowe.
Phillip came out as gay during an episode of This Morning in early 2020, as he broke down on the sofa to his then-close pal, Holly Willoughby.
The country then plunged into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic just a month later.
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