Michael Gove has been forced to apologise after making a crass Harvey Weinstein joke. The Environment Secretary says he apologises ‘unreservedly’ for an on air joke about the disgraced movie mogul at the centre of a Hollywood rape and sexual harassment scandal.
Gove faced a furious backlash on after suggesting that being interviewed by BBC Radio 4 presenter John Humphrys was like ‘going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom’. In a tweet following criticism, he said: ‘Apologies for my clumsy attempt at humour on R4 Today this morning -it wasn’t appropriate. I’m sorry and apologise unreservedly.’
Mr Gove was one of the guests during the programme’s 60th anniversary edition when he compared presenter John Humphrys to disgraced US film producer Weinstein, who is at the centre of a number of sexual harassment allegations. He said of Humphrys: ‘Sometimes I think that coming into the studio with you John is like going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom.’ He added: ‘You just pray that you emerge with your dignity intact.’ Mr Gove was joined for the interview by former Labour leader Lord Kinnock, who added: ‘John goes way past groping.’
The audience responded with a mixture of laughter and applause before the discussion moved on. Gove was slammed for his crass attempt at humour and tweeted: Listeners took to Twitter to condemn the politician for his remark, including Labour MP Jess Phillips. Ms Phillips wrote: ‘Michael Gove just left the studio without his dignity.’ Actor Stephen Mangan wrote: ‘Morning. Here’s a rape joke from Michael Gove to start your day.’ One person commented that ‘there are no words for how appalling he is’. Another said ‘Rape and harassment are not a joke @BBCr4today £r4today’.