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Who should be held accountable for Laurence Fox’s misogyny on GB News?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bristol chapter.

Who is Laurence Fox? In sharing with my friends, the topic of my article this week, I have heard this question over and over. To them I have said words that are definitely not appropriate for publication, and while I would love to repeat them, I think they are reserved for overly impassioned pub chats. However, to know how a man gained the platform where he believed his sexist, backwards views could be championed is still a matter for print.

Despite there being some acting credits to his name, Fox is chiefly known for his social media dog act in previous years – known heavily in the Twitter-sphere for his controversial rants on the COVID-19 vaccine, LGBT+ hate speech and his infamous London mayoral campaign in 2021 under the thinly veiled right wing radicalist Party ‘Reclaim’ which was poorly, yet quite aptly, nicknamed ‘UKIP for culture.’ Whilst his bid for mayor was an epic failure (a result that makes me believe God is real) he has remained a villain to anything he considers to be a product of today’s woke society in every public arena he can squirm his way into.

This leads us to today. Laurence Fox was recently fired from his role on GB news for his comments concerning female journalist Ava Evans where he did not even dignify her with pronouns, disgustingly referring to her as ‘that’ and disparaging her appearance in questioning ‘who’d shag that?’. It is not only the comments that should be clearly demonised, but the response also – on air, presenter Dan Wooton giggled along, and off-air Evans has received many death threats at the attention the feature brought to her. The whole affair had such an air of dystopian tragedy about it felt like an episode of the Handmaid’s Tale, fiction becoming a scary reality with elitist men reducing women to just what they can offer them in the way of sex. Or, perhaps even more terrifyingly, I am too slow on the draw and this idea has never been fictitious all along.

Nonetheless, the question of how Laurence came to be able to say these demeaning things is the real issue. His consequent firing, while just, does not change the obviously sexist issue that exists higher up in the chain of command at GB news. Calvin Robinson, GB news presenter was also fired, but it still remains to be seen who exactly is responsible for allowing both perpetrators to have the screen time week in week out that allowed them to build up the arrogance to run such a story. Ava Evans herself has spoken out about how the comments made against her were ‘unforgivable’, but as the story loses traction in the hamster wheel of British news its frightening to think that Fox still has access to other platforms to spin his wholly anti-female doctrine. His way of an apology consisted of explaining that admonishing his free speech only silences the majority and that all dialogue on the news feature was approved by GB news completely. Once again, all roads lead to the silent figures running GB news, and while they are responsible for allowing Fox’s comments to be aired, for me the buck ultimately stops with the man himself. His lack of remorse and consistent spiel on such topics makes this seemingly one-off dilemma a much wider issue concerning how far we should allow free speech to continue to be the bedrock and scapegoat of hate speech in modern society.

Laurence Fox and any of the big-wigs at GB News should be investigated under the laws of hate crime, and yet they never will be. A sad pill that women and other marginalized groups have to swallow too regularly. It’s no use firing the messenger when the messenger can repeat his prophecy to the millions with a few clicks and it’s no use having faith in news outlets that are intent on covering up their mistakes with just a P45 check.

I'm Molly Broderick, a third year English and History student at the University of Bristol. Just a girl who loves to write (perhaps a little too much).