LONDON (Bywire News) - Amid rising tensions, Ofcom has initiated an official probe into GB News, following uproarious comments made by Laurence Fox on Dan Wootton’s programme. With about 7,300 complaints lodged, Ofcom seeks to examine whether the remarks violate broadcasting standards on offence.
Dan Wootton found himself in turbulent waters after his MailOnline columnist contract got axed, reports Sky News, a development confirmed by DMG Media, the website’s parent company. This occurred in the wake of Wootton's suspension from GB News, where he hosted the incendiary episode featuring Fox.
Fox, the actor-cum-political activist, landed himself in hot water after making denigrating comments about Ava Evans, a PoliticsJOE journalist. Described as "unacceptable, unjustifiable, and indefensible," Fox questioned the journalist's desirability in what many consider to be misogynistic language.
GB News acted swiftly, stating that both Fox and Wootton had been suspended and that a formal apology to Ms Evans was in the offing. On his part, Wootton has publicly apologised for not intervening during Fox’s controversial diatribe.
Curiously, Fox has eschewed any form of apology, going as far as implying that GB News had foreknowledge of his contentious views.
Meanwhile, Evans herself has expressed her distress, noting that the comments focussed unfairly on her physique rather than her professional aptitude. Her comments came after she discussed issues like mental health on the BBC’s Politics Live.
Ofcom’s Chief Executive, Dame Melanie Dawes, reassured that their regulations aim to safeguard audiences from harmful and offensive content, whilst championing freedom of expression. "We apply and enforce these rules without fear or favour," Dawes added.
Intriguingly, as this probe gains traction, Dame Melanie Dawes is set to address further queries on the oversight of broadcast media on Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge tonight.
Thus, in the swirling vortex of public opinion and regulatory scrutiny, the stakes are high. The story is yet unfolding, but the ramifications could echo across the media landscape, posing vexing questions on the balance between freedom of speech and responsible journalism.
For those following this drama with bated breath, tonight’s discussion with Dame Melanie Dawes may well offer further insights into how regulators are grappling with this thorny issue.
Stay tuned for updates.
(By Michael O'Sullivan)