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Good Morning Britain shut down its own debate on cancel culture today after a guest defended Boris Johnson for saying women in burkas looked like letterboxes – before branding its male meteorologist ‘the weathergirl’.

Comedian Leo Kearse said the PM’s comment in 2018 was deployed as a ‘visual gag’ and was ‘not a hateful thing’ to say as he appeared on the show.

Instead he blasted ‘people doing the cancelling’ who are ‘destroying people’s lives’ and compared it to a ‘public execution’ over ‘offhand jokes’.

But his claims were leapt on by Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu who blasted him for ‘utterly reprehensible’ opinions and said he was ‘part of the problem’.

Self-confessed ‘uncloseted right-wing’ comic Kearse hit back pointing out that white men with rosy cheeks get called gammon and asked her why that was not considered racist.

The debate erupted into furious shouting before presenters Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard pulled the plug on the chat.

The guests’ microphones appeared to be toned down as the cameras cut away from them and the programme moved to a pre-scheduled advertising break.

The argument broke out of a newspaper piece written by Mr Johnson in 2018, where he said burkas made women look like ‘bank robbers’ or ‘letterboxes’.

Comedian Mr Kearse said he thought the comment was just a visual joke and inoffensive

Comedian Mr Kearse said he thought the comment was just a visual joke and inoffensive

Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu hit back at Mr Kearse over his suggestion comment was just a gag

Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu hit back at Mr Kearse over his suggestion comment was just a gag

Comedian Mr Kearse said he thought the comment was just a visual joke and inoffensive 

The remark was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a piece written in 2018 for a paper

The remark was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a piece written in 2018 for a paper

The remark was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a piece written in 2018 for a paper

The angry rowing on the programme ended abruptly when Kate said they had to go to ads

The angry rowing on the programme ended abruptly when Kate said they had to go to ads

The angry rowing on the programme ended abruptly when Kate said they had to go to ads

GMB debate on cancel culture turns toxic: What did comedian Leo Kearse and Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu say?

Presenters Garraway and Shephard had sparked the cancel culture debate off the back of comments by Davina McCall, who this week said it is ‘weird’ to haul someone over hot coals due something they said a decade ago. Garraway said: ‘Davina McCall has hit out at cancel culture, saying it’s unforgiving to punish celebrities for view they have held in the past and gone on to apologies for.’

Shepherd said: ‘She was speaking with Rylan on his Reunion podcast. But does saying sorry mean all is forgiven?’ Speaking to Kearse, he said: ‘The world of comedy is a tricky one isn’t it? Lots of comedians say these days they’re very nervous about making the jokes that in the past they would have comfortable saying because they’re worried about being cancelled. Have you ever experiences that?’

The comedian replied: ‘Yes of course, I’ve experienced cancel culture, I’ve had shows cancelled I was pulled from the Australian Fringe and I think it’s terrible. A lot of the times it’s misunderstanding on the part of the people doing the cancelling and also people getting cancelled for tweets from 12 years ago.

‘People change, people move on, but also society changes. The things that are acceptable to say in society changes. You can see that with people like JK Rowling. 10 years ago she was the darling of the woke left and now she’s this pariah. So I think people need to understand… what are people saying now that’s going to be unacceptable in 12 years time from now?’

Shepherd asked him if he thought people like him should go back over their comments in the past and apologise for them. He said: ‘No I think anybody digging up tweets from 12 years ago has an agenda to harm someone, to cancel them.

‘Nobodies looking at tweets from 12 years ago unless they’re digging through like some sort of offence archaeologist to find something they can use to damage that person. I think it’s having a really damaging effect on entertainment and discourse in society so people are really watching what they say and the paranoia is leading to self censorship in comedy and in the arts and everyday life.’

Garraway then tried to introduce Dr Mos-Shogbamimu but mispronounced her name a number of times before settling for her first name. But the guest said ‘I’m not going to let you get away with it’ and made her try again until she got it right and clapped her.

Garraway tried to defend herself, saying ‘I also stumble like that over Smith, so it’s nothing to do with anything else I just struggle to get my words out most morning’.

She asked for Dr Mos-Shogbamimu’s views on the subject, who said: ‘Expressions of hate are not a product of any given time. They are past, present, future, and continued manifestations of hate.’ She went on: ‘Good people are capable of doing bad things and bad people are capable of doing good things. That is called being human.

‘Forgiveness is good, but it does not absolve you of consequences. Consequences are a direct result of your actions and let me tell you who suffer the real consequences. It’s the person who was targeted by that remark or by that action, so let’s just take you through, why is it so difficult for people to accept that in life consequences are actually a fact of life, it’s not cancellation.

‘[They] existed long before the anti-woke mob decided to mischaracterise it as cancel culture to maintain the status quo of racial injustice. When Boris Johnson, just a few years ago, referred to Muslim women in their burkas as letterboxes and even compared them to armed robbers, Islamophobia went up by 375 per cent the week after.

‘So whether it was said 10 years ago, 20 years ago, it was hate. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. Do I believe people can change? Heck yes, of course they can but listen if an apology was all that was required we would not have prison.’ She went on to slam the PM for his premiership and called him a ‘liar’. The guests discussed how they felt things can be improved in the future without rowing, but quickly the debate turned toxic.

Kearse said: ‘Boris Johnson said he thought that women in burkas look like letterboxes. That’s not an expression of hate it’s just a visual gag because they look a bit like letterboxes, it’s not a hateful thing. The only hateful thing I can see is people doing the cancelling, destroying people’s lives. Like a public execution. Destroying people’s lives based on offhand jokes. I think cancel culture is poisonous and it’s changing our culture.’

Dr Shola, who has her PhD in law, tried to interrupt him throughout his comments, claiming his comments were ‘unacceptable’. She said: ‘Your words are utterly reprehensible that you have that audacity to reinforce the ugly words said by Boris Johnson.

‘Acting like the lives of those Muslim women are less important than a privileged man. They were abused on the street, they were attacked, their ordinary lives were negatively impacted.’ She added: ‘And you sit there with the audacity to think it’s OK to justify it and that is why you are part of the problem.’

Kearse hit back: ‘Why is Boris Johnson’s comment racist and calling someone a gammon isn’t? I don’t believe that Britain is the cesspool of racism and hatred that you paint it as.’ The pair continued to talk over each other before Shepherd pulled the plug and said we are out of time’. Their voices slowly died away before the channel cut to an ad break. 

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Presenters Garraway and Shephard had sparked the cancel culture debate off the back of comments by Davina McCall, who this week said it is ‘weird’ to haul someone over hot coals due something they said a decade ago.

Garraway said: ‘Davina McCall has hit out at cancel culture, saying it’s unforgiving to punish celebrities for view they have held in the past and gone on to apologies for.’

Shepherd said: ‘She was speaking with Rylan on his Reunion podcast. But does saying sorry mean all is forgiven?’ Speaking to Kearse, he said: ‘The world of comedy is a tricky one isn’t it?

‘Lots of comedians say these days they’re very nervous about making the jokes that in the past they would have comfortable saying because they’re worried about being cancelled. Have you ever experiences that?’

The comedian replied: ‘Yes of course, I’ve experienced cancel culture, I’ve had shows cancelled I was pulled from the Australian Fringe and I think it’s terrible.

‘A lot of the times it’s misunderstanding on the part of the people doing the cancelling and also people getting cancelled for tweets from 12 years ago.

‘People change, people move on, but also society changes. The things that are acceptable to say in society changes. You can see that with people like JK Rowling.

’10 years ago she was the darling of the woke left and now she’s this pariah. So I think people need to understand… what are people saying now that’s going to be unacceptable in 12 years time from now?’

Shepherd asked him if he thought people like him should go back over their comments in the past and apologise for them.

He said: ‘No I think anybody digging up tweets from 12 years ago has an agenda to harm someone, to cancel them.

‘Nobodies looking at tweets from 12 years ago unless they’re digging through like some sort of offence archaeologist to find something they can use to damage that person.

‘I think it’s having a really damaging effect on entertainment and discourse in society so people are really watching what they say and the paranoia is leading to self censorship in comedy and in the arts and everyday life.’

Garraway then tried to introduce Dr Mos-Shogbamimu but mispronounced her name a number of times before settling for her first name.

But the guest said ‘I’m not going to let you get away with it’ and made her try again until she got it right and clapped her.

Garraway tried to defend herself, saying ‘I also stumble like that over Smith, so it’s nothing to do with anything else I just struggle to get my words out most morning’.

She asked for Dr Mos-Shogbamimu’s views on the subject, who said: ‘Expressions of hate are not a product of any given time. They are past, present, future, and continued manifestations of hate.’

She went on: ‘Good people are capable of doing bad things and bad people are capable of doing good things. That is called being human.

‘Forgiveness is good, but it does not absolve you of consequences. Consequences are a direct result of your actions and let me tell you who suffer the real consequences.

‘It’s the person who was targeted by that remark or by that action, so let’s just take you through, why is it so difficult for people to accept that in life consequences are actually a fact of life, it’s not cancellation.

‘[They] existed long before the anti-woke mob decided to mischaracterise it as cancel culture to maintain the status quo of racial injustice.

‘When Boris Johnson, just a few years ago, referred to Muslim women in their burkas as letterboxes and even compared them to armed robbers, Islamophobia went up by 375 per cent the week after.

‘So whether it was said 10 years ago, 20 years ago, it was hate. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. Do I believe people can change?

‘Heck yes, of course they can but listen if an apology was all that was required we would not have prison.’ She went on to slam the PM for his premiership and called him a ‘liar’.

The guests discussed how they felt things can be improved in the future without rowing, but quickly the debate turned toxic.

Kearse said: ‘Boris Johnson said he thought that women in burkas look like letterboxes. That’s not an expression of hate it’s just a visual gag because they look a bit like letterboxes, it’s not a hateful thing.

‘The only hateful thing I can see is people doing the cancelling, destroying people’s lives. Like a public execution. Destroying people’s lives based on offhand jokes. I think cancel culture is poisonous and it’s changing our culture.’

Dr Shola, who has her PhD in law, tried to interrupt him throughout his comments, claiming his comments were ‘unacceptable’.

She said: ‘Your words are utterly reprehensible that you have that audacity to reinforce the ugly words said by Boris Johnson.

‘Acting like the lives of those Muslim women are less important than a privileged man. They were abused on the street, they were attacked, their ordinary lives were negatively impacted.’

She added: ‘And you sit there with the audacity to think it’s OK to justify it and that is why you are part of the problem.’

Kearse hit back: ‘Why is Boris Johnson’s comment racist and calling someone a gammon isn’t? I don’t believe that Britain is the cesspool of racism and hatred that you paint it as.’

The pair continued to talk over each other before Shepherd pulled the plug and said we are out of time’. Their voices slowly died away before the channel cut to an ad break. 

GMB weather forecaster Alex Beresford was also offended by the guest's remarks today

GMB weather forecaster Alex Beresford was also offended by the guest's remarks today

GMB weather forecaster Alex Beresford was also offended by the guest’s remarks today

Mr Kearse and Alex Beresford then had their own spat on Twitter over the debate and remark

Mr Kearse and Alex Beresford then had their own spat on Twitter over the debate and remark

Mr Kearse and Alex Beresford then had their own spat on Twitter over the debate and remark

Teacher accused of ‘racism’ to students in her Orwell prize-winning memoir is cancelled

A former state school teacher has been cancelled for a second time after her publisher dropped her – a year after she was forced to rewrite her award-winning memoir amid claims it was racist. Pan Macmillan announced last week it would no longer work with critically-acclaimed author Kate Clanchy, 57, from Scotland, and would stop distributing her titles, including her poetry anthology England: Poems from a School. Last year, Kate faced criticism for her 2019 memoir Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me for portraying some pupils in a ‘racist’ manner. The book, which won the Orwell award, features passages with racial tropes such as ‘chocolate-coloured skin’ to describe a black child and one girl as having ‘almond eyes’. The text also describes two autistic children as ‘jarring company’. 

At the time, her former pupils have spoken out in support of her, with Shukria Rezaei identifying herself as the ‘girl with the almond eyes’ in The Times. She wrote: ‘Critics labelled [Kate’s] description patronising, insulting, offensive, colonialist and racist. This upset me..,I did not find it offensive.’ And yesterday the author published an essay on UnHerd under the headline ‘You can’t cancel poetry’, revealing: ‘The last copies of England: Poems from a School are piled up on my kitchen table along with heaps of all my other Picador books going back to 1996. Dozens of them — too many to store, but I felt I had to save them from pulping.’

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Later GMB presenter and weatherman Alex Beresford entered the fray on Twitter. He wrote: ‘Did @LeoKearse actually try and justify likening Muslim women in Burka’s to letterboxes on @GMB? Tell me I heard wrong?’

Kearse hit back: ‘Damn, I’ve upset the weather girl. Boris’s letterbox comment is EXACTLY what I’m talking about – clearly a joke and not hateful. The only hate I see is from the woke mobs hounding people from their livelihoods.’

Reaction to the debate and the points raised were mixed with some coming down on either sides of the argument. One Twitter user wrote: ‘Comedian Leo Kearse (who?) using BoJo’s letterbox jibe to attack cancel culture.

‘Indeed he repeated it and noted that women in burkas ‘do look a bit like letterboxes’. I would say his career is over but I’m not sure if he had one.’

But another seemed to feel he had been unfairly treated, opining: ‘Why is it when Dr Shola is interviewed she always hijacks the debate and doesn’t let anybody get a word in?

‘When they do reply she just talks over them and nobody stops her?’ In 2019 on ITV’s This Morning Mr Johnson was pressed on his letterbox remarks.

He said: ‘I’ve already said sorry for any offence I have caused and I’ll say it again, but let me be very clear that I don’t set out to cause offence in what I’ve written.’

Today’s debate was supposed to be hinged on McCall’s comments earlier this week about the effects of cancel culture. The presenter said it is ‘weird’ to haul someone over hot coals due something they said a decade ago.

The 54-year-old said anyone in the spotlight is ‘terrified’ of being cancelled but believes the problem is due to a lack of forgiveness from the public.

Davina, who appeared on Rylan Clark‘s podcast Ry-Union, was asked about cancel culture and society’s lack of forgiveness by the host.

Opinion: Davina McCall has weighed in on cancel culture and claimed it is 'weird' to haul someone over hot coals over something they said a decade ago

Opinion: Davina McCall has weighed in on cancel culture and claimed it is 'weird' to haul someone over hot coals over something they said a decade ago

Opinion: Davina McCall has weighed in on cancel culture and claimed it is ‘weird’ to haul someone over hot coals over something they said a decade ago

Claims: The TV presenter, 54, said that anyone in the spotlight is 'terrified' of being cancelled but believes that it is due to a lack of forgiveness from the public

Claims: The TV presenter, 54, said that anyone in the spotlight is 'terrified' of being cancelled but believes that it is due to a lack of forgiveness from the public

Claims: The TV presenter, 54, said that anyone in the spotlight is ‘terrified’ of being cancelled but believes that it is due to a lack of forgiveness from the public

The former Big Brother host, said: ‘It’s difficult in a different way. Everybody has an opinion. With cancel culture, and this is the new thing that I think celebrities or actors or anybody in the public eye is the most terrified of is this culture of, you say something and you get cancelled.

‘I think that’s such an interesting thing. I go deep when I think about things and I was thinking, why is cancelling such a tough thing?

Answering her own question, Davina said: ‘I think it’s about the lack of forgiveness that anybody is allowed to have for making a mistake.’

The star admitted she thinks it’s ‘weird’ to vilify someone for something they wrote or said many years ago, as they may have changed their views since then.

She said: ‘If somebody says something and I think, that’s a celebrity that I have known for many years, one of the things that I think is really weird is hauling somebody over the coals for a tweet they made in 2011.’

She continued: ‘In 12 years, I’ve changed so much. When a journalist says to me they interviewed me eight years ago and I said this, I say ‘I’ve changed my mind’. You’ve got to be allowed to change your mind.’

‘Sometimes people could have been racist or homophobic 10 years ago, 12 years ago and they might have met somebody along the way who’s made them change the light. 

‘And they could feel so ashamed of the way that they used to feel. They get hauled over the coals and they apologise and that apology is still not enough.’

Rylan said that the ‘block button’ in life is not just a digital thing, and asked Davina ‘where does it stop?’.  

Davina replied: ‘The only way I have learned in life is by forming opinions about how I feel about things. If I listened to somebody I absolutely 100% disagree with, I can formulate an opinion about that… 

‘That’s why programmes like Question Time are interesting because you’ve got all sides of the political spectrum. Sometimes there’s somebody on there that drives you mad, but that’s a good thing. 

‘We must not stop the voices that annoy us or aggravate us or say something different by shaming them… It seems that forgiveness isn’t on the agenda anymore…

‘This loss of anybody following any kind of religion means you are unable to pardon anybody. You just will hold that vendetta against them forever, even if they are hand on heart genuinely really sorry. It seems really sad.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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