GB News presenter Dan Wootton has been suspended after an interview with Laurence Fox was met with widespread criticism.
The 40-year-old host has now been removed from the show after being publicly criticized for failing to stop Fox’s “misogynistic” outburst and for making derogatory comments about Ava Evans, a political correspondent at Fox online news site Joe, had laughed.
The broadcaster, which describes itself as the “home of free expression,” also banned Fox from further appearances and promised a “full investigation.”
Wootton, who apologized online and said he “should have immediately intervened and challenged”. [Fox’s] offensive and misogynistic remarks” was dragged back into the quagmire when Fox released screenshots of his Twitter interaction in which the New Zealand-born showbiz reporter appeared amused by the argument.
In the unverified direct message, Wootton can be seen sending crying emojis back to Fox after the tirade he had just publicly disparaged, adding, “You can imagine them freaking out in the gallery.”
Who is Dan Wootton?
Wootton was born in the New Zealand capital Wellington in 1983 to British parents and grew up in Lower Hutt, a town east of Wellington Harbour. He was a near contemporary of future Oscar winner Anna Paquin in this English-speaking Pacific Ocean enclave.
In 2004 Wootton made the decision to move to Britain, reversing his parents’ migration several decades earlier. Despite promising appearances as a young reporter The Dominion Postone of New Zealand’s top daily newspapers, and on TVNZ 1 Good morningthe temptation of European celebrity culture was too great.
Where did he work?
After briefly flirting with the idea of becoming a financial journalist (“I was dealing with hedge fund managers who would have had assets of £100,000,000 or something,” he later told one New Zealand expat website“And here I was, making absolutely no money, talking to them about something I knew nothing about.” Wootton was drawn to entertainment journalism.
In 2007, he secured a dream job as a television reporter News from all over the worldand when the paper closed a few years later due to scandal, he moved to ITV’s Lorraine as an on-air entertainment reporter. Combining a flair for gossip with a contact list that covered the great and good of the new millennium social scene, Wootton was quickly identified as a rising star of chatterbox reportage.
During this time he also took over a column at The suncontinued his association with Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, giving him a soapbox for an increasingly loquacious and conservative worldview.
He joined in the same year The sun, Wootton publicly came out as gay. “I’m gay and believe in equality in every way,” he tweeted. “If the media hides gay relationships, how will they ever be normalized?”
Why was he suspended?
During an interview on Wootton’s show this week, Fox said: “We’re past the tipping point, so I can say this: Show me a self-respecting single man who would happily get into bed with this woman… ever… ever.
“This little woman was fed oppression day after day, starting with the lie about the gender pay gap.
“She’s sitting there and I say: If I meet you in a bar and that’s like sentence three, then there’s a very good chance that I’ll just walk away.
“We need powerful, strong, amazing women making great arguments for themselves. We don’t need this feminist 4.0. They are pathetic and embarrassing.
“Who would want to fuck that?”
Smiling, Wootton made a belated attempt to defend Ms. Evans. He said: “I just want to offer her a little compensation because she actually responded today and said she regretted her comments but hadn’t apologized. Uh, yes. Here you go. And she is a very beautiful woman, Laurence, very beautiful.”
What is Wootton accused of?
GB News’ suspension comes as Wootton faces various allegations of potentially criminal behavior for allegedly using a pseudonym and offering newspaper colleagues money for sexual material.
He has been suspended from MailOnline while the claims are investigated. Last week, GB News chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos said the broadcaster would continue to “monitor” the allegations. There is currently no police investigation, the Met Police said last month.
The GB News presenter who wrote a regular column for Online mail has claimed since 2021 that he is the victim of a “witch hunt” after he was accused of tricking men using fake online identities into sending him explicit images for tens of thousands of pounds.
Wootton has denied any criminal wrongdoing, although he has acknowledged “miscarriages of judgment in the past.”
Byline times published a series of detailed and serious allegations against Mr Wootton, claiming there was evidence that he had posed as a man called Martin Branning.
What did Wootton say?
Speaking on his show on GB News later that evening after the Martin Branning scandal broke, Mr Wootton said: “In recent days I have been the target of a smear campaign by nefarious players who still had a bone to pick.”
He added: “Like all fallible people, I have made errors of judgment in the past. But the criminal allegations against me are simply untrue.
“I would love nothing more than to address these false claims – in fact I could spend the next two hours doing so – but on the advice of my lawyers I cannot comment further.
“But I’ve been thinking a lot over the last few days about the current state of social media, where any accusation can be made to cancel someone, but it’s impossible to defend yourself against thousands of trolls.”
Before his suspension over the furore at Fox, he posted on
“After viewing the footage, I can see how inappropriate my reaction to his completely unacceptable comments appears to be, and I would like to make it clear that I was in no way amused by the comments.
“I reacted the way I did out of shock and surprise in an unprepared moment, wondering how to react as he continued talking and searching for tweets @AvaSantina that I had sent earlier in the day while simultaneously having it read to me in my ear.
“However, I should have intervened immediately to counter offensive and misogynistic comments. I apologize unreservedly for the very unfortunate misjudgment on my part under the enormous pressure of a bizarre exchange. I know I should have done better.
“I am devastated to have let down the team and our supportive GBN family. We want to address the problem and not the person, which is something I want to emphasize again on the show tonight.”