Naomi Wolf’s Claims COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Was ‘Mass Murder’ Breached U.K. TV Rules, Sees GB News Network Hauled Into Regulatory Meeting

Naomi Wolf’s claims about the COVID-19 vaccine on U.K. network GB News have resulted in the controversial TV channel being hauled into a meeting with British media regulator Ofcom.

Wolf, best known for her feminist book “The Beauty Myth,” made the comments on GB News’s “Mark Steyn” show, hosted by anchor Mark Steyn, in Oct. 2022. During a segment on the show discussing the vaccine, Wolf compared doctors who assisted the vaccine rollout as being akin to those in “pre-Nazi Germany” and said the rollout itself had resulted in “mass murder.”

More from Variety

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I’m a journalist,” she said at the beginning of the segment, before adding later: “I believe [the mRNA vaccines] are bio-weapons because they are literally sterilizing people, they are poisoning breast milk.”

Wolf was also introduced in the show as “Dr. Naomi Wolf.” She is a doctor of philosophy thanks to a thesis in English Literature which eventually formed the basis of a widely-panned book titled “Outrages: Sex, Censorship, and the Criminalization of Love.” It was found to be littered with historical errors and underwent revisions.

U.K. regulator Ofcom said it received 422 complaints about Wolf’s comments on Steyn’s show, including that they were “dangerous” and went “unopposed.” Following an investigation, Ofcom has now upheld the complaints, finding that Wolf “promote[d] a serious conspiracy theory” without context, scrutiny or challenge.

In its investigation report, Ofcom stressed that “in line with the right to freedom of expression broadcasters are free to transmit programmes that include controversial and challenging views, including about Covid-19 vaccines or conspiracy theories.”

“However, alongside this editorial freedom, the [Ofcom] Broadcasting Code imposes a clear requirement that if such content has the potential to be harmful, the broadcaster must ensure that its audience is adequately protected,” the regulator added.

Wolf appeared on Steyn’s show again the following day after her initial appearance, where she repeated many of the same claims, but Ofcom found this segment did not breach its rules because her views were challenged by other individuals’ comments during the program and a banner during the segment stated Wolf had “faced widespread criticism for Covid research.”

In March Steyn’s show was also found to have breached Ofcom rules because it cited “materially misleading interpretation of official [COVID] data without sufficient challenge or counterweight, risking harm to viewers.”

Although GB News has escaped a fine for its two consecutive breaches, Ofcom has requested the network attend a meeting to “discuss its approach to compliance.”

GB News was launched during the pandemic, in June 2021, with the intention of “disrupting” the U.K. broadcast news landscape. Amongst its initial backers was Discovery, who pulled out last year following their merger with Warner Bros.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.