Ofcom: Laurence Fox’s 'misogynistic' comments about female journalist broke broadcasting rules

Ofcom also said it has 'significant concerns' about GB News' live output, ITV News' Neil Connery reports

Media watchdog Ofcom has ruled Laurence Fox’s “misogynistic” comments about journalist Ava Evans on Dan Wootton's GB News show broke broadcasting rules which protect “viewers from offensive content”.

The watchdog has said the offence has raised "significant concerns about GB News' editorial control of its live output."

It has summoned channel bosses to its offices to provide further information about GB News' compliance practices for Ofcom's consideration.

The Dan Wootton Tonight episode in which Fox made on-air remarks about journalist Ava Evans was the most complained-about TV event of the year, Ofcom revealed.

Dan Wootton and Laurence Fox were suspended after the programme aired. Credit: GB News/PA

The episode, which was broadcast on GB News on September 26, received 8,867 complaints with viewers objecting to the “misogynistic comments” made by actor-turned-politician Fox about about political correspondent Ms Evans, including asking “who would want to s*** that?”

"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."

They added Wootton's reaction did not mitigate the potential for offence but rather "exacerbated it" by "contributing to the narrative in which a woman's value was judged by her physical appearance".

Ava Evans was at the centre of a row over Laurence Fox's comments about her. Credit: GMB/PA

Fox responded to the ruling on Monday in a series of posts on X, formerly Twitter, saying that he is not "overly bothered about this anymore."

"I could have expressed myself better, that’s life and I’ve said my bit. I still think it’s one of the biggest pieces of confected outrage I’ve ever witnessed".

He added that everything said on air was "discussed and agreed with the production team beforehand" and that they were "laughing and joking about it".

"GB News also has a delay, so they could have just cut the feed, but they didn't."

GB News has been contacted for comment.

Fox and presenter Wootton, who later both apologised, were suspended by the channel after the broadcast and Fox has since been sacked by the channel.

The incident narrowly beat Bridgerton star Adjoah Andoh’s comments made during ITV’s coverage of the King’s coronation to the top spot of the media watchdog’s annual list.

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