New Dragon's Den investor Steven Bartlett has criticised the sexist "double standard" around successful women after his interview with influencer Molly-Mae Hague went viral this week.
Hague, who rose to fame on the 2019 series of Love Island and is now the creative director of fashion brand PrettyLittleThing, appeared on Bartlett's podcast The Diary of a CEO last year.
A clip from the interview was shared on Twitter this week and quickly became infamous, with Hague accused of adopting a "tone-deaf" approach to her own privilege.
The segment features Hague discussing her work ethic and her belief that people can achieve their goals if they are prepared to work hard as "you’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it".
Watch: Molly-Mae Hague makes controversial comments about work ethic
Social media users were quick to criticise Hague's comments, with many accusing her of espousing Thatcherite ideas about individualism.
Bartlett — a social media and marketing entrepreneur who made his Dragon's Den debut this week — said on Twitter that male guests on his podcast are seldom challenged for making similar comments.
Read more: Molly-Mae and PLT criticised over 9/11 post
He added: "I've become very aware of the double standard that successful women face. If I Interview a man, he can brag about money, take full credit for his success and talk about his cars?
"If I interview a successful women, she's got to tip toe around her success and watch her words?"
He also noted that Hague is held to a high standard for a woman aged just 22 and said she is still "figuring out the world".
Hague issued her own response to the controversy on Friday, with a representative for the influencer saying: "This part of the interview was discussing time efficiency relating to success.
"Molly refers to a quote which says ‘We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyoncé’. She was discussing her own experience and how she can resonate with this specific quote.
“Her opinion on if you want something enough you can work hard to achieve it is how she keeps determined with her own work to achieve more in her own life.
"Molly is not commenting on anyone else’s life or personal situation. She can only speak of her own experience.”
Hague was appointed creative director of PLT last year and has sought to distance herself from being a reality TV star, stating she believes she would have achieved her success without Love Island.
Watch: Footage shows Molly-Mae Hague shocked after being told of 12-hour shift