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17 April 2019updated 26 Jul 2021 11:22am

Anyone who cares about sexism should boycott Good Morning Britain and Piers Morgan’s clickbait debates

By Sophie Walker

This post first appeared on the author’s Facebook page.

Thank you everyone who has sent good wishes and solidarity following the recent threats I have received from speaking out against male violence. I’m fine, thank you.

I would however at this point like to invite other public figures not to accept invitations from British television show Good Morning Britain. In my experience they do not look after their guests, especially women, and they are not honest about what arrangements to speak entail.

After inviting me on Monday to debate male violence and terrorism with Christopher Muwanguzi they cancelled at the last minute. Then a senior producer called me later on Monday, asked me to come on Tuesday and offered me the choice of debating either Toby Young or Edward Adoo.

I believed them when they offered me a choice. I said I didn’t want to debate Toby because he’s a clickbait commentator whose dog whistles attract abusive far-right trolls and I had already had a weekend of dealing with a torrent of abuse in part because Piers had tweeted on Friday that I was a “pathetic creature”; but I agreed to debate Edward, who disagrees with me but also campaigns against knife crime.

I also said I would not do it unless GMB paid for early morning childcare, as I’d had to make and undo expensive arrangements once already after they cancelled the first time; and I checked with the same producer that GMB understood their duty of care to me and had security arrangements at the studio. The senior producer agreed to all of this and apologised that I had been targeted.

Early on Tuesday evening I then received a short phone call from another producer to say they had cancelled again but without saying why. Shortly afterwards Piers tweeted that I had refused to debate Toby (and “run away”) so the show had decided to cancel me. Cue another onslaught of abuse from anti-feminist, far-right trolls among his six million followers.

If the producer had said: to be honest, Piers only wants you to debate his mate Toby because he wants a fight, then I would have known where I stood.

I’m always up for a debate. I am not going to stop talking about this. But I will not engage with liars and bullies. GMB, that now includes you.

Sophie Walker is a feminist activist and founding leader of the Women’s Equality Party.

ITV has been contacted for comment.

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