GB News has issued an apology and launched an investigation after it aired “totally inappropriate” comments by the actor and Reclaim party founder, Laurence Fox, about the journalist Ava Evans.
Fox made a series of derogatory comments about Evans, a political correspondent for online news site Joe, during an interview with presenter Dan Wootton on Tuesday night.
Evans posted the clip of the segment to X, formerly known as Twitter, with the comment: “Laurence Fox just did a whole speech on GB News on why men apparently won’t shag me,” adding in a reply: “I feel physically sick.”
Shortly after GB News issued a statement saying Fox’s stance “does not reflect our values”.
“Comments made tonight on GB News by Laurence Fox were totally unacceptable,” the station said in a response posted to X. “What he said does not reflect our values and we apologise unreservedly for the comments and the offence they have caused. We have launched an investigation and will be apologising to the individual involved.”
Comments made tonight on GB News by Laurence Fox were totally unacceptable. What he said does not reflect our values and we apologise unreservedly for the comments and the offence they have caused. We have launched an investigation and will be apologising to the individual…
— GB News (@GBNEWS) September 26, 2023
On Tuesday night, Wootton apologised as well, saying: “Dear @AvaSantina I think you’re brilliant … I apologise for what was said during the course of my show and should have done this immediately on air. This is not what our channel is about.”
Wootton issued another apology on Wednesday morning, saying: “I want to reiterate my regret over last night’s exchange with Laurence on GB News. Having looked at the footage, I can see how inappropriate my reaction to his totally unacceptable remarks appears to be and want to be clear that I was in no way amused by the comments.”
In the segment Fox had called Evans a “little woman” and went on to say: “Show me a single self-respecting man that would like to climb into bed with that woman ever, ever, who wasn’t an incel.
“We need powerful, strong amazing women who make great points for themselves. We don’t need these sort of feminist 4.0. They’re pathetic and embarrassing. Who’d want to shag that?”
As both Fox and Wootton laughed, Fox added: “Sorry, it’s true though.”
The segment was in response to comments made by Evans during an appearance on BBC Politics Live on Monday about men’s mental health. After her appearance she said: “I was a little rash on my anti-minister for men comments which I do regret and am actually very interested in a brief for a minister on young men’s mental health.”
Wootton raised her response with Fox, saying: “I’m just going to provide a touch of balance from her because she did actually respond to this earlier today, saying that she regretted her comments, but she didn’t apologise.”
Wootton added: “Uh, yes. So there you go. And she’s a very beautiful woman Laurence, very beautiful.”
The footage of Fox sparked outrage.
Writing on X, Conservative peer Daniel Finkelstein said: “Oh my God this is truly appalling. Even for the two individuals involved this was a new low.”
The interview was the latest in a series of scandals at GB News, coming just days after the channel said it wouldl not investigate claims of inappropriate behaviour made against Wootton because none of the accusations relate to his work for the channel.
Earlier in September, Ofcom ruled that GB News breached impartiality rules when two Conservative MPs interviewed the chancellor before the spring budget and “failed to represent a wide range of significant views”. It was the channel’s third breach since it launched in June 2021.
Fox and Ofcom have been approached for comment.