March 18th 2023.
More than 800 complaints have been lodged against BBC for Fiona Bruce's comments on Question Time about Stanley Johnson's alleged domestic abuse. Bruce stated that Johnson's friends said the incident was 'a one-off', leading to an intense backlash online. Subsequently, Bruce expressed her 'deeply sorry' and resigned from her role as an ambassador of the charity Refuge. The BBC reported that 854 complaints were made in regards to 'the context Fiona Bruce gave during a discussion concerning domestic violence allegations against Stanley Johnson'. Bruce clarified that her words shouldn't be taken as her opinion, and apologized for the distress her comments had caused. She was clarifying the allegations made against Stanley Johnson that his ex-wife had said that he broke her nose. (Image Source: https://metro.co.uk)
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The BBC has been inundated with over 800 complaints concerning Fiona Bruce's comments on Question Time about Stanley Johnson's supposed domestic abuse. Bruce, 58, engaged in a conversation about an incident of domestic abuse, wherein Johnson's ex-wife claimed he had broken her nose. To provide context, Bruce stated: ‘Stanley Johnson has not commented publicly on that. Friends of his have said it did happen, it was a one-off.’ This sparked a wave of backlash on social media, and Bruce later said she was ‘deeply sorry’ before resigning from her role as a Refuge ambassador. The broadcaster has now revealed 854 complaints were lodged in regards to ‘the context Fiona Bruce gave during a discussion concerning domestic violence allegations against Stanley Johnson’. (Image Source: https://metro.co.uk)
In her statement announcing her resignation from Refuge, Bruce commented: ‘Those words have been taken as an expression of my own opinions which they are absolutely not, and as a minimising of domestic abuse, which I would never do.’ She went on to say: ‘I know survivors of domestic abuse have been distressed by what I was required to say on-air. For that, I am deeply sorry. I cannot change what I was required to say, but I can apologise for the very real impact that I can see it has had.’
Bruce, 58, received criticism on social media after she interjected when the father of former prime minister Boris Johnson was referred to as a ‘wife beater’.
Allegations have been made that Boris Johnson’s father broke his wife's nose
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a panelist and journalist, said the 82-year-old's supposed history of violence was ‘on the record’. Bruce then chimed in and told Alibhai-Brown and the audience: ‘I’m not disputing what you’re saying, but just so everyone knows what this is referring to, Stanley Johnson’s wife spoke to a journalist, Tom Bower, and she said that Stanley Johnson had broken her nose and that she’d ended up in hospital as a result. ‘Stanley Johnson has not commented publicly on that. Friends of his have said it did happen but it was a one-off.’ She later apologised, with a statement from Refuge mentioning: ‘Fiona is deeply sorry that last night’s programme has distressed survivors of domestic abuse.’
The BBC spokesperson commented: ‘Domestic abuse is abhorrent, and we would never wish to suggest otherwise. When serious allegations are made on air against people or organisations, it is the job of BBC presenters to ensure that the context of those allegations – and any right of reply from the person or organisation – is given to the audience, and this is what Fiona was doing. She was not expressing any personal opinion about this situation.’
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