ITV boss responds to Holly and Phil petition and says their job is safe over queue-gate
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ITV bosses have now responded to the petition to have Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield removed from This Morning after rumours spread suggesting the pair had 'jumped the queue' to see the Queen's lying in state earlier this month.
The petition has now gathered over 75,000 signatures, with many outraged that the pair appeared to bypass those who had queued for hours to see the late monarch.
However, one of the ITV bosses has now spoken out to confirm the pair will not be losing their presenting jobs.
Dame Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of ITV, said Holly and Phil have been 'misrepresented' over claims they skipped the queue and other mourners.
Speaking at the RTS London Convention, Dame Carolyn was asked what the presenting duo did wrong, in which she responded: "Honestly, nothing. Honestly. They did have accreditation.
"Lots of people saying they didn’t. They were sent by This Morning to do a piece for September 20, which ran.
"They were to interview people inside and outside. They didn’t displace anyone in the queue. And they’ve been very misrepresented, actually."
She added: "And that’s why we made a statement. Unusually, we made a statement to say all of those things.
"But it does show you how things spread and how misinformation just spreads. And it is really horrible for them."
Dame Carolyn was also asked if the pair were victims of 'cancel culture' and had been 'cancelled' by viewers.
However, she added: "I think they’re highly relevant and still very topical, and I think the majority of their viewers love watching them.
"But there is a very shrill kind of voice against and it will hurt them."
Dame Carolyn also revealed she had complained to pizza brand Domino's after the company sent a savage tweet referencing the queue jump scandal.
She explained: "We just said to them, 'What are you doing?' because we work with Domino’s and they said, 'We think it is really funny, don’t you?'
"They just thought that was funny. They didn’t think of the impact that would have on how people would pick it up and start meme-ing it.
Apologies to anyone waiting on their pizza, we've just received an order from Holly and Phil #ThisMorning— Domino's Pizza UK (@Dominos_UK) September 20, 2022
"I think that’s what happens with these things which are... They did not do anything wrong.
"They were with loads of other broadcasters, many of whom you know, and they were with lots of press journalists."
Dame Carolyn also revealed the pair are safe in their jobs, and that she had reached out personally to check on their welfare.
"It’s hard. You imagine yourself in the eye of the storm like this, where you’re trying to say you’ve done nothing wrong and all the noise around you is saying that you have. It’s difficult to handle," she said.
Dame Carolyn's comments come as the creator of the petition admitted the whole situation is 'destroying me'.
At the time of writing, 75,000 people have signed the petition, created by Laura Harrison, titled: "Axe Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby from TV."
In an update this week on her change.org page, she wrote: "UPDATE: 25/9/2022. I’ve asked ITV to deliver any responses relating to this to the public and not to me, as I wouldn’t be following the news, or watching the programme, or sharing anything online, or through social media.
"I want nothing more than for this topic to end. I want positivity, not hostility and negativity. The concerns raised by this have been shared with Ofcom and ITV, and that’s all I can do.
"I want to begin the week on a more positive note, and I don’t want to think about the programme anymore.
"It’s kind of destroying me.
"Words will be twisted, but the intent was always to prevent people being hurt time and time again by these TV shows."