GB News slams Welsh broadcaster Guto Harri taking knee on their channel as ‘unacceptable’
GB News has blasted as “an unacceptable breach of our standards” a decision by Welsh broadcaster Guto Harri to take the knee on one of their shows.
Guto Harri enraged some GB News viewers on Tuesday by taking the knee live on his show to demonstrate solidarity with the England team following racist abuse aimed at some players.
The presenter said he had “underestimated how close to the surface” racism still is in the country, and said it made “sense” that footballers should take the knee on the field and that racism has “no place in modern Britain”.
Guto Harri, who also presents Y Byd yn ei Le on S4C, was stepping in for Colin Brazier on Brazier and Muroki this morning, and said he had “underestimated” the level of racism among some sections of England fans.
But GB News faced a backlash to his decision, with fans calling for a boycott and saying the channel had taken a “woke” turn.
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.
Discussing his decision to take a knee, 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.”
Guto Harri added that “with the benefit of hindsight, I might have underestimated how close to the surface the racism is.”
But his move was met with predictable abuse by some sections of GB News’ audience, with some claiming that the ‘anti-woke’ channel itself had been gobbled up by the very forces it sought to fight against.
“Time to boycott GB News sadly because some Marxist presenter called Guto Harri takes the knee live!” responded one on social media.
“I turned to watching GB News to get away from wokism and having BLM gestures shoved down my throat,” another added. “Oh no, what do I see a presenter kneeling. Really what a shame. Switched off.”
Others however said that GB News was only now coming to its senses. “Let the great u-turning begin,” Chris said. “If you only realised that racism is real and pervasive over the last few days you’ve had your heads buried in the sand for the whole of your lives.”
GB News’ decision to publicly censure Guto Harri prompted puzzlement among those who thought it was launched as a ‘free speech’ channel.
— James O'Brien (@mrjamesob) July 15, 2021
‘No, not *that* free speech’ https://t.co/xqEWWnEDAk
— davidallengreen (@davidallengreen) July 15, 2021