Phillip Schofield and the moral wasteland of ITV

May 30, 2023 by

by Brendan O’Neill, spiked:

The Schofield scandal exposes the decadence and hypocrisy of the cultural establishment.

Imagine a world where expressing a heartfelt opinion could land you in more trouble than being a lying, cheating creep. You’ve just imagined ITV. You’ve just imagined the TV channel that fancies itself as a moral exemplar to the masses and yet which puts up with apparently unethical behaviour far more readily than it does un-PC speech. How else do we explain ITV’s casting out into the wilderness supposed thoughtcriminals like Piers Morgan and Jeremy Clarkson even as it was allegedly covering up for daytime weirdo Phillip Schofield?

The Schofield affair is grimly fascinating. It’s a reminder of how speedily stars can fall from grace. One day Phil was ITV’s biggest presenter, pocketing £600k a year for hosting This Morning and Dancing on Ice. The next he’s a cultural down-and-out. His name is mud following revelations that he fibbed about an affair with a much younger male colleague. He’s been ditched by both ITV and his talent agency. We’ll never see him on TV again, unless he decides to do a weepy mea culpa on a show like… well, it would have been Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, but that’s not on anymore, because Morgan once said something mean about a duchess. ITV, folks.

Schofield’s rapid fall, in an irony Schofe won’t want to think about, is symptomatic of a finger-pointing culture that This Morning itself helped to whip up.

[…] Schofield’s recent confession of a fling with a youngster casts his coming out in a very different light. His emergence from the closet, on live TV, with gushing praise for his bravery, always struck me as creepy. There’s nothing brave about being gay in showbiz. No one gives a toss. Also, were we not meant to think about his wife of 30 years at all? Or his kids? Perhaps marital betrayal is okay if you do it with a fella rather than another woman. Wrap your unscrupulous behaviour in the Pride flag and the media will cheer rather than criticise.

It was a classic example of how identity politics, and in particular the virtuous glow that comes with being a ‘victim’, can be used to distract attention from bad behaviour.

Read here


Related Posts


Share This