Laurence Fox comments on GB News broke Ofcom rules

Posted on Monday 4th March 2024 by Johnnie Larkin
GB News Laurence Fox Sacked

An Ofcom investigation today concluded that an episode of Dan Wootton Tonight on GB News broke broadcasting rules designed to protect viewers from offensive content.

8,867 complaints were made to Ofcom when sexist, misogynistic and offensive comments were made by Laurence Fox aimed at female political journalist Ava Evans.

We found that Mr Fox’s comments constituted a highly personal attack on Ms Evans and were potentially highly offensive to viewers,” Ofcom said.

“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.

“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.”

Ofcom also said that “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.”

Fox and Calvin Robinson were sacked by GB News in October 2023. The programme’s host Dan Wootton was suspended.