Laurence Fox and Dan Wootton, two GB News presenters, were suspended on September 27 after making inappropriate comments on Wootton’s evening programme: Dan Wootton Tonight.
News presenter Laurence Fox was brought onto Dan Wootton’s show to discuss journalist Ava Evans’ views on men’s mental health, after she appeared on BBC’s Politics Live.
Fox, who believes Evans has been dismissive of the male mental health crisis, opened his appearance by saying: “Show me a single self-respecting man that would like to climb into bed with that woman.”
He then added: “Who’d want to shag that?”
I should have intervened immediately to challenge the offensive and misogynistic remarks
Dan Wootton, host of Dan Wootton Tonight
While Fox was making his remarks, the show’s host Dan Wootton appeared to smile and laugh, adding afterwards: “She’s a very beautiful woman Laurence, a very beautiful woman.”
Wootton later tweeted an apology, which read: “I should have intervened immediately to challenge the offensive and misogynistic remarks.”
However, Fox then posted a screenshot in response to the apology, revealing a private message between the two of them joking about what had happened.
I wanted to say that I regret the use of my language. I don’t think it honours me and I don’t think it honours my view of women
Laurence Fox, GB News presenter
The next day, Fox posted a 15-minute-long apology video on X, formerly known as Twitter, suggesting: “I wanted to say that I regret the use of my language. I don’t think it honours me and I don’t think it honours my view of women.”
He then said of GB News: “GB News had one opportunity, and that opportunity was to stand up and defend free speech, which they haven’t done.
“They brand themselves the home of free speech, they’re actually the home of cancel culture.”
Both presenters have been suspended by GB News while the incident is being investigated internally. Furthermore, 7,300 complaints were filed to the regulating body Ofcom, causing an official investigation to be launched under Rule 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code.
Since the incident, Evans has said that she has received a mix of both “threatening” and “supportive” messages from people online.
She has publicly stated that Fox’s comments made her feel “disgusting” and “vile”.
Evans added: “What I’ve really not liked about this is the conversation about my body. It’s not just that Laurence Fox said these comments last night. It has been the vitriol on social media that has ensued.”