Media regulator Ofcom investigating Dan Wootton’s GB News show
The media regulator is investigating if Dan Wootton’s show on GB News breached its rules on offence.
Ofcom received around 7,300 complaints about Tuesday’s episode of Dan Wootton Tonight where guest Laurence Fox made a series of personal remarks about a female journalist.
It is investigating under Rule 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code which states when “applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context”.
Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes said: “Over the last few days there has been speculation and commentary about our role as the independent broadcast regulator. These are important issues and I wanted to be clear about our rules.
“Parliament sets objectives on how the broadcast sector should be regulated. We set and enforce rules to achieve these objectives.
“Contrary to some claims, these rules remain unchanged.”
Dame Melanie said the rules from the regulator of broadcasters are meant to “protect audiences from offensive and harmful material, and to uphold the integrity of broadcast news and current affairs programming” while ensuring freedom of expression.
She also said: “The decisions we take, always based on facts and evidence once a programme has aired, are vital if we are to protect our vibrant media landscape. We continue to apply and enforce these rules without fear or favour.”
Both Fox and Wootton have been suspended by GB News, and Wootton has been sacked by MailOnline where he had written a regular column since 2021.
On Tuesday, actor-turned-politician Fox made a series of remarks about Ava Evans, the political correspondent for online news site Joe, including asking: “Who would want to shag that?”
Following the discussion, Wootton apologised “unreservedly” for a “very unfortunate lapse in judgment” in a follow-up post to an earlier apology, which suggested he should have said sorry for what was said during the broadcast.
The broadcast prompted an internal investigation by GB News, while Ms Evans said she had received an apology from the broadcaster.
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