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Kiwi Dan Wootton suspended by GB News over offensive comments

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 28 Sep 2023, 11:59AM

Kiwi Dan Wootton suspended by GB News over offensive comments

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 28 Sep 2023, 11:59AM

New Zealand-born journalist Dan Wootton and Laurence Fox have been suspended by GB News following an offensive comment made regarding a female journalist. 

The Telegraph has reported the comments occurred when Fox appeared on Wootton’s show earlier this week and when speaking about Ava Evans – a British political reporter – Fox said, “Who would want to shag that?” 

Instead of calling out the comment, Wootton could be seen laughing and allegedly went on to send Fox a series of laughing face emojis after the show. 

Shortly after the shocking moment, GB News announced it had “suspended Dan Wootton following comments made on his programme by Laurence Fox last night. This follows our decision earlier today to formally suspend Mr Fox. We are conducting a full investigation”. 

It continued to say it had also “formally suspended Laurence Fox while we continue our investigation into comments he made on the channel last night”. 

Dan Wootton could be seen laughing after Laurence Fox made the offensive comment. Photo / TwitterDan Wootton could be seen laughing after Laurence Fox made the offensive comment. Photo / Twitter 

“Mr Fox’s suspension is effective immediately, and he has been taken off air. We will be apologising formally to Ms Evans today.” 

GB News called the exchange and Fox’s comments “totally unacceptable”. 

Evans has also responded to the exchange saying she has been left “really hurt” and “shocked” that the moment was shown on air. 

Speaking to Channel 5′s Jeremy Vine show, she said, “Do you know this is the sort of talk that you worry that men have about you when you’re not in the room? 

“There is always sort of a worry in the back of your mind which is: ‘Are people actually interested in what I’m saying or what I’m doing?’ Or are they just looking at me ... physically, and I think that that clip proves that there are some men who are.” 

Kiwi-born journalist Dan Wootton. Photo / Getty Images Kiwi-born journalist Dan Wootton. Photo / Getty Images 

The Telegraph has since reported Wootton has issued an apology in which he told Evans she was “brilliant” and that Fox’s feature on his show was “a bizarre exchange”. 

He added that “this is not what our channel is about” and said the offensive comment put him under “intense pressure” which saw him react out of “shock and surprise”. 

Wootton – who has previously worked for the in Wellington - continued to say, he “should have intervened immediately to challenge offensive and misogynistic remarks” continuing to add that he was “devastated that I let down the team and our supportive GBN family”. 

Following the Lower Hutt-born, journalist’s apology, Fox took to Twitter where he shared a series of private messages between himself and Wootton. Fox appears to write, “Making you giggle is my weekly joy.” 

Wootton allegedly replied with three laughing face emojis and said, “You can imagine them freaking out in the gallery!” 

Laurence Fox shared an alleged screenshot between himself and Dan Wootton following his offensive comment about a female journalist. Photo / TwitterLaurence Fox shared an alleged screenshot between himself and Dan Wootton following his offensive comment about a female journalist. Photo / Twitter 

Meanwhile, Fox has continued to defend his comments and issued a statement on social media is which he claimed he is “totally within my rights” to have made the offensive comment. “I would run a mile in the opposite direction from women like her, should our paths cross in a bar. It’s called free speech,” he said. 

This is not the first time Wootton has come under fire this year. In August, he was suspended from MailOnline after claims he offered colleagues money for sexual images. 

The presenter, who has written a regular column for MailOnline since 2021, was alleged to have inappropriately offered colleagues hefty sums of money in exchange for filming themselves carrying out sex acts, according to his ex-boyfriend Alex Truby. 

Truby claimed Wootton used a pseudonym “Martin Branning” when allegedly making inappropriate approaches. 

In July, while in New Zealand on a holiday to see family, Wootton responded to the claims, denying any wrongdoing, but did admit to “errors of judgment in the past”. 

Wootton’s last article was published for MailOnline on June 29. 

Wootton is also under investigation by his former employers at News UK, which publishes UK tabloid The Sun, where he worked for more than a decade. 

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