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Despite the fact that making fun of actual rape is so obviously in incredibly poor taste, Michael Gove’s ‘joke’ was received with ‘guffaws’ by the assembled Radio 4 audience.
Michael Gove and John Humphreys guffawing as they joke about Weinstein's groping is not how I want to start my day #r4today
— Isobel (@E2Teacher) October 28, 2017
Gove’s coarse comments were also met with laughs from host John Humphrys as well as studio guest Neil Kinnock.
However, users on social media have roundly condemned Gove’s comments, describing them as ‘foul and despicable’, ‘vile’ and ‘disgraceful, with some also calling for the Tory Minister to be sacked.
— Pip Green (@PipJGreen) October 28, 2017
— Alex G (@Giddzer) October 28, 2017
Gove’s highly insensitive comments come just days after comedian James Corden was forced into an apology after making a series of similar jokes at the amfAR Gala in Los Angeles last Friday.
— Briefcase Michael (@BriefcaseMike) October 28, 2017
However, on Radio 4’s Today at 60 programme this morning Michael Gove japed that going into the Radio 4 studio was:
…like going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom – you hope to emerge with your dignity intact
Controversial BBC presenter Nick Robinson was one of the first to report Gove’s comments, which quickly sparked a furious backlash on Twitter:
Going into the studio is “like going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom – you hope to emerge with your dignity intact” Gove on #Todayat60
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) October 28, 2017
Vile analogy. In order to come out of the studio with dignity intact, one would need to enter it with dignity in the first place, Mr Gove…
— Jacqui (@JacquiCroftie) October 28, 2017
Only Michael Gove could find this in the least bit amusing #shameful
— Louise Rodgers (@LJR_eidyia) October 28, 2017
With Labour MP Jared O’Mara being suspended for similar vile comments earlier this week, significant pressure is already being put on Theresa May to follow suit and suspend Michael Gove from the Conservative party.
I'm sure all those Tory MPs lining up to criticise Jared O'Mara will now do the same to Gove. https://t.co/E2qrTaRdkS
— Kirsty Strickland (@KirstyStricklan) October 28, 2017
After being roundly criticised for making a mockery of sexual assault, Michael Gove has since apologised for his comments:
Apologies for my clumsy attempt at humour on R4 Today this morning -it wasn't appropriate. I'm sorry and apologise unreservedly
— Michael Gove (@michaelgove) October 28, 2017
However, with Labour having already set a precedent by suspending O’Mara for his crude comments made several years ago, the pressure on Theresa to withdraw the whip from Michael Gove for his disgraceful comments today will surely only intensify.
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