By Claire Gordon • 12 December 2021 • 14:47
'Grow Safely' campaign launch. CREDIT: Ayuntamiento de Velez-Malaga
This Morning viewers have flooded ITV and Ofcom with Phillip Schofield complaints after the presenter seemingly mocked the former health secretary Matt Hancock over the latter’s dyslexia diagnosis. The “dyslexia-shaming” dig came during an interview last week regarding Mr Hancock’s breaking of the lockdown rules by kissing lover Gina Coladangelo while the UK was in lockdown.
Schofield appeared to mock Mr Hancock by asking “was it your dyslexia that meant you misread the social distancing rules?”
Reports say that co-host Holly Willoughby was “surprised” by the question, not least as she was keen for Mr Hancock to appear on the show to promote a bill calling for all primary school children to be screened for the condition. Ms Willoughby herself suffered with dyslexia as a child and it is a cause close to her heart.
According to the Mail on Sunday, a source has said: “It has become clear that a lot of complaints have been made to Ofcom about this. It was a clear example of disability shaming. While some found it funny, those who have dyslexia find it utterly insulting. T was a cheap shot that offended many people, and Holly didn’t seem to be very happy about it either.”
Mr Hancock was very firm that his dyslexia had nothing to do with the kiss that was caught on CCTV and then leaked to the press. “No, I can’t blame that on dyslexia or anything else,” he said. “It was a mistake and I’ve apologised for it and it was a failure of leadership because I came on shows like this and asked people to do this and I didn’t follow rules myself.”
The scandal surrounding the footage led to Mr Hancock’s resignation and the breakdown of both his and Ms Coldangelo’s marriages.
Ofcom said any details regarding the Phillip Schofield complaints will be released on Wednesday 15 December.
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