GB News is already on the radar of UK media regulator Ofcom after its opening night drew more than 350 complaints from unhappy viewers.
The Discovery-backed news network launched on Sunday night and, after an introductory hour, it got down to business, as presenter Dan Wootton delivered a fiery monologue on the “madness” of lockdowns ahead of Boris Johnson delaying the lifting of coronavirus restrictions in England.
During his six-minute, unchallenged tirade, the former The Sun and Talk Radio journalist said lockdowns “should be wiped from the public health playbook” and compared the UK to an “ultra-cautious biosecurity state” like China.
Wootton also went after a hot-button culture war issue currently gripping the UK: whether England soccer players should take the knee during Euro 2020 as a protest against racism. Wootton argued that knee taking is a political gesture connected to the Black Lives Matter organization,” which supports the “overthrow of capitalism.”
His show, Tonight Live with Dan Wootton, triggered 373 complaints to Ofcom, which will now determine whether to investigate GB News. If it were to launch a probe, the regulator will examine if Wootton’s show displayed “due impartiality” under UK broadcasting laws and included an “appropriately wide range of significant views.”
It is the latest concern for GB News, which has been plagued by technical difficulties since launch. The news network, designed as an antidote to market leaders BBC News and Sky News, has also lost advertisers like Ikea and Vodafone in its opening days.