TW: mentions bullying, harassment
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Since July 2023, journalist and presenter Dan Wootton has been caught in a very serious scandal. Since then, independent newspaper Byline Times has been releasing a series of articles in which the presenter is accused of catfishing, bullying, harassment and getting footage of colleagues having sex without their knowledge.
On July 19, on air, Wootton denied those accusations and instead said that there were ‘dark forces’ at work to shut down the growing channel that is GB News. Since the beginning of this scandal, Wootton has remained on air while The Sun and Mail Online have launched internal investigations.
A letter written by MP Dame Caroline Dinenage on 19 September to Angelos Frangopoulos, boss of GB News, demands that the channel give a clear view of any action they might take to handle the accusations against Wootton.
Frangopoulos has answered in his own letter and his response is not what was expected.
Dan Wootton scandal, nothing is ‘proved’
In his letter Angelos Frangopoulos addresses the allegations made against Dan Wootton directly. However, as far as GB News is concerned, these accusations have yet to be proven.
as far we are aware, none of these allegations have been admitted or proved by an independent body
Frangopoulos adds that GB News will continue to ‘monitor the situation.’
This argument is interesting considering the extensive pieces of evidence Byline Times has presented with their articles, including emails and witness statements. Nonetheless, it is true that, as of 22 September 2023, no criminal charges have been held against Wootton.
Nothing has happened at GB News
In the same letter Frangopoulos reveals another striking reason why the channel will not instigate a removal of Wootton or an internal investigation. In order to make his point, the GB News boss starts by highlighting the fact that other employers of Wootton have taken action.
We understand that The Sun has been investigating Mr Wootton’s conduct relating to his employment with that company.
The Daily Mail, we understand, has paused his column.
Frangopoulos then makes his point by writing that, since no complaint has been made against Dan Wootton within GB News, nothing for them justifies an action.
Were a formal complaint to be raised by a member of our staff, then GB News would, of course, take appropriate steps
Though we do not want to make any assumptions or openly criticise their decision as it seems to have been made following the ‘strict written processes and procedures in place’ at GB News that Frangopoulos highlights in his letter, we must bring back up a concern raised by Dame Dinenage in her letter:
It is vital that viewers have faith in the media especially in the case of news brands, where truthfulness and accuracy are key
Frangopoulos must be aware that viewers of Wootton have been demanding answers concerning these allegations for weeks and many are questioning the legitimacy of him remaining on air every night.
Committees.parliament.uk Dame Caroline Dinenage to Angelos Frangopoulos
Committees.parliament.uk Angelos Frangopoulos to Dame Caroline Dinenage
The Guardian: GB News will not investigate claims against presenter Dan Wootton