GB News’ Headliners segment has been slapped with 151 complaints after a guest insisted that COVID “wasn’t a thing”.
US comedian and broadcaster Lewis Schaffer made the comment on the show on 18 June as he was discussing a newspaper headline about Partygate, leading many people to complain to Ofcom.
Talking about the story, he said: “This is a complete non-story because everybody knows, and all of these people knew, that COVID wasn’t a thing."
When others on the show disagreed and told him the virus did exist, he insisted: “No, you can’t say that it exists.”
“People knew if COVID was a major thing, I guarantee you, people would say, 'Listen maybe we shouldn’t have a party', but every one of these people said, 'Let’s get close to each other',” he went on.
— Lewis Schaffer, Live (@LewisSchaffer) June 21, 2023
Ofcom has now received a total of 151 complaints about the episode.
And a spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo that the complaints related to comments Schaffer made about COVID.
When the show aired, many viewers took to Twitter to say they had been rankled by his statements.
“Those bloody people dying of COVID in the ward I worked in certainly had me fooled,” one person tweeted.
“What... thousands and thousands of people just decided to die?” asked another.
Somebody else posted: “In bed with it right now. Not mild, and it definitely exists.”
However, another viewer defended the programme.
“I don’t believe that 150 people were genuinely furious,” they said.
“I think 150 people were looking for an opportunity to scurrilously attack the show and the channel. Headliners is a great show that provides a platform for comedians to discuss the news from their varied perspectives.”
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