Ava Evans on ‘threatening’ comments after GB News row
Ofcom has launched an investigation into Tuesday’s episode of Dan Wootton Tonight on GB News under their rules on offence.
The Office of Communications, which is the government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the UK, received around 7,300 complaints about the programme which aired on GB News on Tuesday.
The organisation are investigating under Rule 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code, which states that in applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context.
Dame Melanie Dawes, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: “Over the last few days there has been speculation and commentary about our role as the independent broadcast regulator. These are important issues and I wanted to be clear about our rules.
“Parliament sets objectives on how the broadcast sector should be regulated. We set and enforce rules to achieve these objectives.
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“Contrary to some claims, these rules remain unchanged.
“They are designed to protect audiences from offensive and harmful material, and to uphold the integrity of broadcast news and current affairs programming, while always ensuring that freedom of expression is front and centre in every decision we take.
“This is highly valued by audiences and central to our democracy.
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“The decisions we take, always based on facts and evidence once a programme has aired, are vital if we are to protect our vibrant media landscape. We continue to apply and enforce these rules without fear or favour.”
Ofcom’s statement comes after Laurence Fox’s comments about reporter Ava Evans on Wootton’s GB News show.
During the live broadcast, he asked what “self-respecting man” would “climb into bed” with Evans.
Wootton has since said in an apology that he should have intervened, while the channel described Fox’s remarks as totally unacceptable”, promising to conduct a full investigation.
Fox, who has also been suspended from his hosting role on the channel, has meanwhile insisted he stands “by every word of what I said”.
PoliticsJOE political correspondent Evans told BBC Politics Live on Monday that the idea of introducing a “minister for men” to tackle the mental health crisis could “make an enemy out of women”, as mental health is a universal issue.
Speaking about her comments on Tuesday’s episode of Dan Wootton Tonight, Fox said: “We’re past the watershed so I can say this. Show me a single self-respecting man that would like to climb into bed with that woman – ever, ever…
“That little woman has been fed, spoon-fed oppression day after day after day…
“We need powerful, strong, amazing women who make great points for themselves, we don’t need these sort of feminist 4.0… they’re pathetic and embarrassing.
“Who would want to shag that?”
Wootton appeared to be smiling and laughing during Fox’s remarks, before adding that Evans was a “very beautiful woman”.
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