Jo Brand Praised For Shutting Down Sexual Harassment Jokes On All Male Panel
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The award-winning British show Have I Got News For You is meant to be a light hearted look at the week's news. The panellists look at some of the headlines that are on everyone's lips and they have a chat about what went horribly wrong or horribly right.
While there are a lot of laughs during the 30-minute programme, the newest episode featured a rapture of applause for Jo Brand. But she didn't make a quip or sassy reply to another one on the panel, which, for the purposes of this article, should be noted was all male.
The comedian and TV personality gave her co-stars a lesson on sexual harassment and why it's not funny.
Credit: BBC/Have I Got News For You
Journalist Ian Hislop was talking about a headline about an MP taking his personal trainer to the cinema, saying: "Some of this is not high-level crime, is it, compared to Putin or Trump."
It got a few laughs, but it all went deathly silent when Ms Brand said: "If I can just say, as the only representative of the female gender here today, I know it's not high-level, but it doesn't have to be high-level for women to feel under siege in somewhere like the House of Commons.
"Actually, women, if you're constantly being harassed, even in a small way, that builds up and that wears you down."
Mr Hislop came back saying: "No, and as you point out with four blokes sitting around you we're hardly in a position to say, 'That's rubbish'."
Jo's remark caused a huge applause from the studio audience and an even bigger one on social media.
Watching tonight's #hignfy and may I just say on behalf of all women.... pic.twitter.com/XNTjgYfvKH
- Louise Atkinson (@MsLouAtkinson) November 3, 2017
Think #HIGNFY may regret having 4 blokes try to make light of the recent sex scandal, Jo Brand doing a good job of putting them straight
- Ollie Pope (@Ollieargyle9) November 3, 2017
Thank fuck for Jo Brand on #hignfy. Or it would've been a bunch of blokes minimising, normalizing and laughing at sexual harassment :neutral_face:
- Rosalynd Southern (@rv_southern) November 3, 2017
Fair play to Jo Brand on #hignfy ... shutting down Quentin by speaking up... Gotta lot of respect for her pic.twitter.com/YfmwHqdPrz
- Rebecca Sarah (@rebeccasaz) November 3, 2017
Tonight's #HIGNFY presents one woman explaining sexual harassment to four white men who still think it's bantz. Thank you @iamjobrand https://t.co/iSQNLtWLi6
- Sophie Walker (@SophieRunning) November 4, 2017
The Women's Equality Party leader Sophie Walker wrote on Twitter: "Tonight's #HIGNFY presents one woman explaining sexual harassment to four white men who still think it's bantz. Thank you."
Others on the social networking site criticised the show for constantly having a male dominated panel.
However, it appears the tide is turning on that particular issue following the announcement of Where's the F in News. According to the Radio Times, the programme will be 'a topical series which uses news as a starting point for a number of fresh and funny challenges'. It will be an 'energetic and intelligent female-anchored show' with a 'predominantly female panel'.
Television executive Danny Cohen has told the Observer: "We're not going to have panel shows on any more with no women on them. You can't do that. It's not acceptable."
It's expected to air next year or in 2019.