“Large Number” of This Morning Employees Allege Bullying and Discrimination at ITV
A significant number of employees from ITV’s popular daytime show, This Morning, have come forward to Parliament with claims of “further bullying and discrimination” after raising concerns about toxicity and harassment within the broadcaster. This comes after ITV CEO, Dame Carolyn McCall, faced questions from MPs regarding the departure of former host Phillip Schofield and allegations of a toxic bullying culture.
In a letter dated 24th July, Dame Caroline Dinenage, Chairwoman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, informed Dame Carolyn that a group of current and former This Morning employees had approached Parliament with similar claims. The individuals spoke highly of their colleagues and expressed pride in working at ITV. However, they also detailed instances of toxic working environments, bullying, discrimination, and harassment.
Some of the individuals who reached out to Parliament described how their decision to raise concerns within ITV resulted in further bullying and discrimination, leading some to leave the organization with a settlement agreement.
ITV’s Response and Call for Reporting
Dame Carolyn responded to the allegations by urging the parliamentary committee to encourage individuals to report their experiences through ITV’s reporting line, SafeCall. This confidential and anonymous reporting system allows employees to share their concerns. Alternatively, individuals can contact Jane Mulcahy KC, who is leading an external review of the facts surrounding Schofield’s exit. The review is expected to be completed in September.
Dame Carolyn emphasized ITV’s commitment to addressing any issues or complaints raised by employees, stating that they take such matters seriously and will investigate and take appropriate action. However, she highlighted the importance of engaging with those individuals who have come forward.
Inconsistencies in ITV’s Explanation
During the questioning by MPs, ITV Managing Director Kevin Lygo was accused of being inconsistent in his explanation of who decided that Schofield should leave This Morning. Lygo initially suggested that Schofield wanted to step down, but Schofield’s statement on 20th May indicated that ITV had made the decision. In response, Dame Carolyn clarified that there was no inconsistency, explaining that while Schofield expressed a desire to leave, Kevin Lygo had the final say after discussions with all parties involved.
It is easy to understand why the individuals who have come forward may be hesitant to relive their traumatic experiences and may doubt that ITV will take their claims seriously. However, with the encouragement of the parliamentary committee, it is hoped that more individuals will come forward to share their experiences, enabling ITV to address and rectify any issues within the organization.
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