GMB cancels its OWN cancel culture debate after comedian Leo Kearse said women in burkas ‘look like letterboxes’ – before he later brands Alex Beresford a ‘weather girl’ in Twitter spat
- GMB debate on cancel culture predictably soon descended into angry shouting
- Comedian Leo Kearse and Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu did not see eye to eye
- Boris Johnson’s 2018 burka ‘letterbox’ remark saw debate erupt into row
- Mr Kearse defended it as ‘visual gag’ but was told it was ‘utterly reprehensible’
- He continued off air by calling GMB forecaster Alex Beresford ‘the weathergirl’
A Good Morning Britain cancel culture debate was shut down after a guest defended Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying women in burkas looked like letterboxes – before calling its male meteorologist ‘the weathergirl’.
The early morning news programme – today helmed by Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard – had been featuring a debate between contributors Leo Kearse and Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu.
But the discussion descended into furious shouting and recriminations as it turned to a remark made by the under fire Prime Minister.
It referenced a newspaper piece written by Mr Johnson in 2018 where he said burkas made women look like ‘bank robbers’ or ‘letterboxes’.
As the shouting continued Kate was forced to interrupt them to end the segment to go to a pre-scheduled advertising break.
Mr Kearse – a comedian – pointed out white men with rosy cheeks were called gammons during the noisy chat.
Then he added: ‘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 Mos-Shogbamimu hit back at Mr Kearse over his suggestion comment was just a gag
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
Dr. Shola, who has her PhD in law, then responded: ‘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.
‘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.’
Leo replied: ‘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.’
Comedian Mr Kearse said he thought the comment was just a visual joke and inoffensive
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
It was then Kate and Ben said they had to go to an ad break, ending the row.
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?’
Mr Kearse seemed unmoved, telling him: ‘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.’