Good Morning Britain’s Kate Garraway accused of ‘homophobia’ by Jason Gardiner after fiery interview
Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner has lashed out at Good Morning Britain’s Kate Garraway for comparing his on-screen criticism to homophobic bullying which he suffered growing up.
During his appearance on the ITV show, shown ahead of last Sunday’s final, Gardiner was questioned about his style of judging.
After Ben Shephard called him “evil” and “cruel,” Gardiner hit back, saying that his feedback of competitors like GMB’s Alex Beresford was “honest”.
And then, Garraway took it further.
“Why are you so direct?” she asked Gardiner. “Because one of the interesting things about you is you’ve had tough times yourself.
“When you were at school, you were bullied, had a lot of problems coming to terms with your sexuality and how people treated you, so you know what it’s like to be picked on.”
The reality show judge balked at this comment, looking shocked as he seemed to understand where Garraway was going with this line of questioning.
“How do you look at those comments and think that’s different?” she concluded.
Gardiner responded: “It’s very controversial, because actually what you’re saying is that I’m picking on people, and… you’re likening what I do to bullying.”
Garraway defended her question, saying: “Well some people might look at it and think that, but you’ve obviously decided it’s not, in your head, so perhaps explain why.”
The judge, who is also a choreographer, singer, and theatre producer, replied: “Really? Well that’s interesting, because I’m there to give a critique based on my expertise, and I have 10 seconds to make a point.”
Gardiner said the way he gives criticism “gets results – they do improve,” adding that as far as he was concerned, he was “very balanced and very fair. I’m impartial.”
On Twitter after the show, the judge wrote: “Really touched by the support I am receiving after @GMB tried to brand me cruel, evil & bullying.
“None of the celebs who are paid to do @dancingonice feel mentally or physically harmed by my judging. I know the public gets it.
He added: “@kategarraway clearly has never been bullied.”
Later, he said: “Never have I bullied anyone especially because of my horrific past. Anyway she got what she wanted which is all this!”
Garraway responded the next day to defend herself.
She wrote on Twitter: “I’m mortified if @officialJasonG is upset by our “ panto style” fun on @GMB – completely unintended – we love him & his #DOI comments!!
“When I highlighted how sadly he’d been bullied as a child (real nastiness) it was to help him clarify how DIFFERENT his tough comments are – which he did brilliantly!
“It’s @officialJasonG ‘s job to be the tough judge – it’s my job to ask the tough questions. XXX”, she added.
This did not seem to satisfy Gardiner, who wrote: “She hasn’t actually apologised just that she is ‘mortified’ that I took offence to ‘panto-style’ fun.
“How comparing the heinous bullying from my past to panto-style fun is in itself offensive. I was only there to talk positively about the @dancingonice final.”
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Writing to one fan, he accused the ITV presenter of “passive homophobia.
“As a gay man the media will use derogatory words like Queen, Bitchy and [represent] LGBT+ as either camp or evil stereotypes.
“@GMB said I was evil and a bully. Never have these been applied to @SimonCowell. Why? He’s straight!”
Watch the interview below: