Apprentice star Katie Hopkins appeared on BBCs Question Time last night and criticized Sky’s decision to sack their star pundits, who had worked on football at Sky since it began in 1992.
In response to the question, ‘Is the sacking of Andy Gray by Sky an appropriate response to sexism or a nation losing its sense of humour?’ Hopkins debated extensively with fromer MP Edwina Currey.
Hopkins told the live studio audience, ‘I think Sky Sports has completely lost its sense of humour. I think as a nation potentially we have lost our collective sense of humour.
‘I think people like Karren Brady, who have appointed herself patron saint of all things equal, does not speak on behalf of all of the sisterhood.
‘I think women actually don’t want equal treatment, they couldn’t handle it if they got it, quite a number of them. It’s a tough world out there.’
‘What a lot of women are actually asking for – and you can look aghast at this – is special treatment.
With the panel looking on she continued, ‘I think what women need to realise is that you have to toughen up, we can’t ask for equal pay, you have to be paid on performance and the results you deliver.
‘It’s a tough world out there and I don’t think Karren Brady or any others are doing us any favours by putting this sort of debate out there. I think we have to just compete in what is a tough world.
‘And finally, I think the art of banter is something we should be proud of as a nation. I worked for a while in the military and our forces, the best in the world, in my opinion, they survive in banter. I think we need to keep that, we need to look after it.’
‘Do we want a world which is completely void of colour? Do we want everything to be magnolia? No we don’t. I think we need banter and I think those poor guys really died on their swords and have been stabbed in the back by people like Karren Brady.’
Almost immediately the panel hit back, with Labour MP Chuka Umunna who said: “I don’t think, Katie, you’re doing anyone any favours this evening. I thought Sky made the right decision.
‘I thought the sentiments expressed were bigoted, offensive and had absolutely no place in modern society.’
At this point Edwina joined in the debate, defending Sky.
‘I cheered when Andy Gray was sacked – “yes!”
‘Remember, he wasn’t just sacked for the off-colour remarks about the referee, which were made before she’d even had a chance to show her competence, he was sacked after a series of clips showing that he was making offensive and unpleasant remarks.
‘He’s a fat slob, an awful man and I’m glad he’s gone. I feel a bit sorry for Richard Keys because he did apologise and he did attempt to put things right, I felt he could see what he had done wrong.’
Edwina then referred to the England women’s football team and said: ‘Our women’s soccer team in this country, and in the United States are a great deal more successful in an international competition than the men’s teams are – what have the men got to boast about?
But is she right? Do 75,000 people pay £30 a week to watch the best women’s football team twice a week, every week? Isn’t it about supply and demand? If something is a sought after, wanted and entertaining product people will pay to watch and broadcast it, if not they won’t.
We’d love to here your views on the matter, now a little time has passed? Was it just good old fashioned banter, the same as which you get in every workplace up and down the country, and a media witch hunt gone mad, like it only can in Britain?
Or was it something more sinister? Let us know below.