The chief executive of ITV has said that Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield’s jobs are safe and that their alleged queue-jumping to see the Queen lying in state was misinformation spread by a “shrill minority”.
Carolyn McCall, who has texted both hosts of This Morning who are finding the media fallout “difficult”, said that she hoped the incident would blow over and not become the latest victims of “cancel culture”.
“Sometimes minority shrillness can become very, very loud and picked up as a story,” she said, speaking at the Royal Television Society’s London conference. “I’m hoping it will just pass. It does show you how things spread. How misinformation just spreads and it is very horrible for them. They’ve not been cancelled have they. I think they are highly relevant and still very topical and the majority of their viewers love watching them. There is a very shrill kind of voice against, it will hurt them. Is that social media, what is it?”
McCall said that ITV placed a call to Domino’s Pizza, which tweeted that customers would have to wait for their deliveries as an order from Willoughby and Schofield had take priority, expressing displeasure at the post which was widely picked up on social media.
“We talked to them,” she said. “They thought that was really funny. We said ‘no’. We just said, what are you doing, we work with Domino’s right. They didn’t think of the impact that would have, how people would pick that up and start meme-ing it.”
On Sunday, ITV was forced to put out a statement backing the presenters and denying accusations that a woman in a wheelchair was moved aside to make way for the presenters visiting Westminster Hall on 16 September.
McCall, who when asked if their jobs were safe said “yes, of course”, reiterated ITV’s position that the presenters legitimately entered Westminster Hall as part of a wider piece around the death of the monarch.
“They did have accreditation. Lots of people saying they didn’t,” she said. “They were sent by This Morning to do a piece for 20 September that ran. They interviewed people inside and outside. They didn’t displace anyone in the queue. They have been very misrepresented actually.”