Ava Evans: Journalist bombarded with ‘threatening messages’ after Laurence Fox comments as Ofcom investigates GB News

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The journalist targeted by Laurence Fox in a “misogynistic” rant live on GB News has said her direct messages “are full of people threatening me” and she has been accused being “part of this global agenda that is trying to bring down men”.

Ava Evans told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Thursday that she has been “deeply embarrassed” in the wake of Fox’s comments made to GB News host Dan Wootton, with both men since suspended by the broadcaster.

It comes as Ofcom investigates “a number of complaints” about Fox’s remarks.

Wootton laughed in response to the widely criticised remarks by actor-turned-politician Mr Fox, who asked about Ava Evans: “Who would want to s**g that?”

The political correspondent for online news site Joe told GMB she has received supportive but also “threatening” messages since the segment aired on Tuesday night.

“Half of the comments are very lovely and supportive and the other side are very threatening, that somehow I’m part of this global agenda that is trying to bring down men and I hate all men, and I need to watch my back and be very careful because there are certain people who are threatening to come after me,” Ms Evans said.

“It feels ridiculous even saying it, but yeah my direct messages on social media are full of people threatening me.”

When asked if she had reported the messages to police, Ms Evans replied: “It’s only been a day and I’m still trying to get my head around it. It’s honestly astounding.

“I feel like I’ve been thrown into something that is so ridiculous and hyperbolic and nothing to do with me really.”

Ms Evans said the fact that Tory MPs who present on GB News have not spoken out implies “they have accepted it”.

She said it was a “good” response from GB News and wanted to see “a precedent set here going forward with broadcasting where that is not acceptable”.

Ava Evans (right), Dan Wootton (top left) and Laurence Fox (ES Composite)
Ava Evans (right), Dan Wootton (top left) and Laurence Fox (ES Composite)

GB News said it has launched a “full investigation”, while Wootton apologised for his “inappropriate” reaction to the remarks, adding they were “very unfortunate lapse in judgment”.

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan and Tory MP Caroline Nokes, who chairs the Commons Women and Equalities Committe, have said Ofcom must investigate the “unacceptable and disgraceful” on-air behaviour.

Ofcom said it has received “a number of complaints” about Fox’s remarks about Ms Evans on Dan Wootton Tonight, adding: “We are assessing these complaints against our broadcast rules and will publish the outcome as quickly as possible.”

During the exchange on Tuesday, Fox was asked about Ms Evans’ critical comments about suggestions there should be a minister for men to address mental ill health.

She later said her remarks were “a little rash” and said she was “actually very interested in a brief for a minister on young men’s mental health”.

Wootton was seen to laugh after Fox said “show me a single self-respecting man that would like to climb into bed with that woman, ever, ever, who wasn’t an incel?”

“That little woman has been fed, spoon-fed oppression day after day after day… starting with the lie of the gender wage gap, and she’s sat there and I’m going, if I met you in a bar and that was like sentence three, chances of me just walking away are just huge,” Fox said.

“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 would want to s**g that?”

I apologise unreservedly for what was a very unfortunate lapse in judgment on my part under the intense pressure of a bizarre exchange. I know I should have done better. I’m devastated that I let down the team and our supportive GBN family

Dan Wootton

Wootton, a former executive editor at The Sun, offered “a touch of balance”, saying that Ms Evans expressed regret at her comments “but she didn’t apologise… and she’s a very beautiful woman, Laurence… very beautiful woman”.

After the show, GB News described Fox’s comments as “totally unacceptable”, adding: “What he said does not reflect our values and we apologise unreservedly for the comments and the offence they have caused.”

Wootton apologised, saying that he 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”.

He said he had reacted “out of shock and surprise in an off-guard moment while working out how to respond”.

The apology provoked a row with Fox, however, who revealed messages online which insinuated he and Wootton had shared laughing emojis about the incident in private.

Saying “honesty is the best policy”, he published a messenger dialogue that began with: “Making you giggle is my weekly joy.”

The response followed: “You can imagine them freaking out in the gallery!!!!!”

Fox also claimed in the series of tweets that he had done a “pre-interview” with the channel “so they knew exactly what I intended to say”.

The 45-year-old, whose previous acting credits include Gosford Park and Elizabeth: The Golden Age, said he stands “by every word of what I said”.

He founded the Reclaim Party in October 2020 after an appearance on the BBC’s news panel show Question Time earlier that year, which the actor said resulted in him being “cancelled from a 21-year acting career”.