Ofcom will not investigate Owen Jones Orlando walk-out, despite hundreds of complaints (VIDEO)
The journalist walked off after claiming his co-panelists were trying to ‘deflect’ attention from the fact that the attack was deliberately aimed at gay people.
A Sky News discussion about the devastating Orlando shootings last month – which ended with Guardian columnist Owen Jones storming off the set – will not be investigated by media regulator Ofcom.
Despite receiving 253 complaints, the watchdog has decided not to take the matter any further.
Jones cut short his appearance on the show after his co-panellists disagreed that the attack – during which 49 people were killed and 53 were injured – was homophobic, despite taking place in gay club Pulse.
“At the end of the day this was a homophobic hate crime, as well as terrorism and it has to be called out, as I have to say, on Sky News and lots of news channels, there’s not been many LGBT voices that I’ve heard myself,” Jones said on the show.
“It is one of the worst atrocities committed against LGBT people in the western world for generations and it has to be called out as such,” he added.
However, host Mark Longhurst disagreed, claiming the crime had been carried out against “human beings,” who were “trying to enjoy themselves, whatever their sexuality.”
Co-panellist Julia Hartley-Brewer also attacked Jones’ stance, saying she could equally be at risk for being a “gobby woman”.
As Jones grew increasingly exasperated by the pair’s view, he told them that they couldn’t possibly understand, as they are not gay.
“I’m sorry, I just find this the most astonishing thing I’ve ever been involved in on television,” he said.
As the co-panelists continued to dismiss his claims Jones said: “I’ve had enough of this,” took off his microphone and left the set, admitting he was “upset”.
Hartley-Brewer later labelled the move as nothing more than a “childish tantrum,” before claiming Jones “has more in common with Islamic State than he thinks.”
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However, Ofcom – clearly also failing to understand Jones’ point – says it sees no reason to take any further action against the pair.
“We assessed a number of complaints that Mark Longhurst and Julia Hartley-Brewer caused offence by appearing to dismiss Owen Jones’s view that the attack on a nightclub in Orlando specifically targeted the LGBT community,” the statement read.
“However, after careful consideration, we won’t be taking the matter forward for investigation.
“We found that neither person responded to Owen Jones in a way that caused unjustified offence. Both were simply attempting to highlight the impact of terror attacks on society more broadly.”
Watch the clip below: