UK media regulator Ofcom has revealed that it received nearly 2,400 complaints after Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley asked a British lawmaker with family in Gaza if there was “any word on the street” before Hamas launched its attack on Israel.
Madeley questioned Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran on October 17, asking: “With your family connections in Gaza, did you have any indication of what was going to happen 10 days ago, two weeks ago? Was there there any word on the street?”
Moran replied: “Not this, not this. I think everyone… everyone has been surprised by, first of all, partly the timing, the sophistication [and] the way that it’s happened.”
The exchange sparked 2,378 complaints, making Good Morning Britain ITV’s second most complained-about show of 2023. Bridgerton star Adjoa Andoh’s remarks about the “terribly white” royal family during King Charles III’s Coronation drew 4,165 complaints in May.
Following a clip of the interview going viral, Madeley apologized if he “upset viewers” with his interrogation of Moran. “His intention was to understand the mood and atmosphere amongst the civilian population of Gaza immediately before the attacks,” a Good Morning Britain spokesperson said. “He did not mean to imply that she or her family might have had any prior knowledge of the attacks.”
Moran later said that she accepted the apology. “I think my face at the time looked pretty flummoxed,” she told Sky News. “The conversation as a whole over the 15-minute interview was an important one. We were looking at how we got here, where we go. I didn’t feel and don’t feel that it came from a place of malice. I think it, frankly, came from a place of, perhaps, ignorance.”