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GB News pulls Welsh presenter Guto Harri off air for ‘taking the knee’, sources say

16 Jul 2021 3 minutes Read
Guto Harri taking the knee. Picture by GB News

GB News has pulled the Welsh presenter Guto Harri off air for taking the knee, sources have said.

The right-wing channel has faced a fierce backlash from viewers after the journalist took the knee live on his show to demonstrate solidarity with the England team following racist abuse aimed at some players.

Sources have told the Guardian that he has been “cancelled” by viewers calling it “woke”, amid a plunge in ratings, management upheaval, and rumours that other members of staff are considering leaving.

A friend of of Harri told the Guardian: “GB News is becoming an absurd parody of what it proclaimed to be – not defending free speech and combatting cancel culture but replicating it on the far right. Nasty.

“It’s ridiculous to say he’s breached editorial standards and almost certainly defamatory. In reality it wasn’t a breach of editorial code but ‘sacked for offending the lynch mob’.”

‘Unacceptable’ 

This follows GB News blasting Harri, who also presents Y Byd yn ei Le on S4C, for what it called “an unacceptable breach of our standards” for his decision to take the knee.

In a statement posted on Twitter, GB News said: “GB News stands four square against racism in all its forms. We do not have a company line on taking the knee. Some of our guests have been in favour, some against. All are anti-racist. We have editorial standards that all GB News journalists uphold.

“On Tuesday a contributing presenter took the knee live on air and this was an unacceptable breach of our standards.”

It also deleted a tweet which showcased the segment.

The channel has been mocked for its decision to rebuke Harri because it was set up on the basis that free and open debate is no longer possible in the mainstream media due to an all-pervasive “cancel culture”.

A spokesperson for GB News was unable to immediately confirm whether Harri would be leaving the channel, or whether other key staff are still with the station.

Discussing his decision to take a knee on the show, Guto Harri said: “All politics is about gestures, not just about running public services. It’s about signalling what’s right and wrong about a country,” he said.

“I’ve never understood why people find it offensive. I tended to be one of those people who thought ‘do we really need to do this at every football match’.

“But having seen just how close to the surface how hideously ugly racism among some English fans is, I totally get it why this squad throughout wanted to make a stand, day in, day out, every time they took to the pitch.”

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Quornby
Quornby
13 days ago

Hmmm….. backed the wrong horse eh Guto?

Meirion
Meirion
13 days ago

This looked and smelt like a very deliberate and cynical ploy by Guto Harri. He’s enough of a seasoned hack to realise when he’s on a sinking ship, and this was his way of getting off it. He needed to do something big and bold to get attention, and nothing was going to do that more than taking the knee, the gesture of the moment, live on air. It was not solidarity with black people or a stance against racism. It was him hoping to go viral, giving his CV a clean and touting himself for a new job with… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
13 days ago
Reply to  Meirion

The boy can’t win with the likes of you, can he ? Damned if he does and damned if he don’t ! I hope you are just as critical of the antics of the so-called “leadership” of Yes Cymru who are far more toxic to our cause than anything G Harri does in a studio somewhere in Enger-land.

Meirion
Meirion
13 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

“the likes of you” – what is that?

CJPh
CJPh
12 days ago
Reply to  Meirion

Looks like two people getting distracted. I’r gad, folks, it’s over here😂

Chris
Chris
13 days ago

😆 What was it they set that channel up for? To defend free speech was it? 😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆

Chris
Chris
13 days ago

I celebrate anything that winds up the GBeebies (copyright James O’Brien). But whilst I’m not a knee taker myself, I understand the reasons and wholeheartedly support the sentiment.
However, surely the gesture started by Colin Kapaernick was kneeling though the anthem of his country whilst endemic racism still existed.
Kneeling down willy nilly just looks weird.
It also results in frothing Brexiteers accosting people in the street for tying up their shoelaces. Probably whilst screaming through spittle flecked jowls “BUT ALL SHOES MATTER!!!!!!!! TYPICAL LEFTY REMOANER. WHY DO YOU HATE SLIP-ONS YOU SHOE RASCIST (sic)”

Last edited 13 days ago by Chris
Mark
Mark
13 days ago

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. so much for free speech, he only saw the racism after he’d been sacked, so much for a top? journo with his finger on the pulse, Guto, we see you.

Kneeling to no one
Kneeling to no one
13 days ago

I do not understand why such an abominable gesture of servility has been accepted as something politically progressive. I will not kneel before Betty Saxe-Coburg, George Floyd or any other person.

Chris
Chris
13 days ago

It’s a gesture of rest “Nah, I’ll sit this one out thanks” a position of non-aggressive rebellion, not servility. Relaxed, but ready to go at a moment’s notice. The head is not bowed, the neck is not exposed.
The “formal kneel” posture is a peculiarly English thing. The NFL players who started kneeling would also sit back on their heel in a restful position.

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