GB News suspends Laurence Fox after 'vile and misogynist' Ava Santina comments live on air with Dan Wootton
Presenter Dan Wootton apologised for the comments Fox made on his show and told Santina he thought she was ‘brilliant’
and live on Freeview channel 276
GB News has suspended the actor-turned-political commentator Laurence Fox after he made "totally unacceptable" comments about a female journalist live on air.
The actor-turned-campaigner made a series of “misogynist” comments about Joe Media journalist Ava Evans, also known as Ava Santina on the news channel during an episode of Dan Wootton Tonight on Tuesday (September 26). Wootton has also apologised directly to Santina for the comments.
So, what exactly did Fox say, how did Santina respond, what have GB news and Dan Wootton said, and how have others reacted? Here’s what you need to know.
What did Laurence Fox say about Ava Santina?
Fox suggested that no "self-respecting man" would "like to climb into bed with that woman, ever", adding that he could say that because he was appearing past the watershed. Speaking live to Wootton, he went on to suggest that only a "cucked little incel" would be interested in Santina.
He then added: "That little woman has been fed, spoon-fed, oppression, day after day after day after day after day, starting with the lie of the gender wage gap. . . 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". He concluded by saying “who’d want to s*** that?”
The comments were made during a segment tag-lined "hard-left commentator slammed for shrugging off male suicide crisis" and also “smirking face of disdain”.
Wootton smiled as Fox was making his comments and giggled when he had finished. He did then say "I'm just going to provide a touch of balance for her, because she did actually respond to this earlier today saying that she regretted her comments, but she didn't apologise." He then added: “She’s a very beautiful woman, Laurence, a very beautiful woman.”
After backlash over his comments, Fox told his followers on X: "I stand by every word of what I said.
"If a woman wants to go on television and belittle male suicide, she is totally within her rights to do so and not apologise, just as I am totally within my rights to say that I wouldn’t want to shag a hyper offended 4th wave feminist and not apologise, just as people are totally within their rights to be offended by my stating 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 continued: "This lady has said on air that she wants men to be “frightened” and “terrified.” Tumbleweed from the media at her premeditation and malevolence. Because it’s not a man saying it. Which rather proves my point."
How did Ava Santina respond?
Santina, who is a political correspondent for online news site Joe, posted a clip of the interview to her X account. She said “Laurence Fox just did a whole speech on GB News on why men apparently won’t shag me?” and added “I feel physically sick”.
What have GB news and Dan Wootton said about Laurence Fox’s comments?
Shortly after the broadcast, GB news released a statement via X and said: “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 involved.”
His suspension was confirmed on Wednesday morning, with the channel saying in a statement: "GB News has formally suspended Laurence Fox while we continue our investigation into comments he made on the channel last night. Mr Fox’s suspension is effective immediately and he has been taken off air.
Wootton also took to his X account to apologise directly to Santina. He said: “Dear @AvaSantina I think you’re brilliant. Earlier tonight I was attempting to find your tweets to read back from my iPad and couldn’t locate them. 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.”
How have other people responded to Laurence Fox’s comments?
Santina received lots of support on her X account, including from fellow journalists. Iain Dale branded Fox “a vile, despicable misogynist piece of s***. He added: “You're with a hundred of him. Don't let him get to you.” Lizzy Buchan said: “Christ this is vile. Solidarity.” Nadene Ghouri shared a screenshot of her complaint to Ofcom. Dawn Neesom said: “Hateful misogynist stuff about a young woman.”
There was also support from MPs. Stella Creasy said: “This clearly breaches @Ofcom guidelines on your right to privacy and unfair treatment - you shouldn’t have to put up with this and it’s their job to make sure GB news are held accountable for it. If they don’t act let us know and we will follow up.” Emily Thornberry said: “I'm so sorry this has happened to you. This smirking, sniggering misogyny needs to be called out. British television should never subject women to this sort of abuse. @ofcom.”
Carol Vorderman also said: “Please know that ALL decent people are on your side. We're grateful for your voice. Do not let them bully you. I know only too well how difficult that can be. But we ARE winning. All of us together.”