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Bombshell 'dossier' tells of 'bullying, trauma and sexism' at ITV

NewsBombshell 'dossier' tells of 'bullying, trauma and sexism' at ITV

A journalist who lifted the lid on the inner workings of ITV’s This Morning show has said that her full dossier of dirt on the network reveals an endemic pattern of “bullying, trauma, sexism and discrimination”.

Following the departure of Phillip Schofield from the channel following revelations of an affair with a younger colleague, the Mail on Sunday’s Katie Hind claims that ex-employees have come forward to reveal the true extent of the situation behind the cameras, with one describing the show as having a “bullying and toxic blame culture”. The programme’s editor, Martin Frizell, has denied the claims of “toxicity”.

However, Hind claims that another former staff member made claims of sexism, while others spoke of being asked to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and receiving payments to keep quiet about their experiences.

One woman told the Mail: “I worked there for six years. I have felt a huge sense of relief this story has finally come out because it is about abuse of power and cover-ups.

“I left This Morning with a financial payout and had to sign an NDA [non-disclosure agreement] to say I would not talk about the bullying and toxic blame culture that I endured there.

“Fifteen years on, I still can’t watch the show, and even hearing the theme tune, it brings me out in a cold sweat.”

Read more: Royal Whatsapp Holly Willoughby to address Phillip Schofield scandal ‘honestly and openly’ in comeback

Another source, a man in his 20s, told the paper: “When Phillip would say things like ‘We’re all one big happy family’, I just thought that was a load of bulls***.

“He doesn’t know what researchers and assistant producers go through, and I had to quit. It was seriously affecting my mental health. I was belittled and unsupported.”

The man characterised the culture at This Morning as “toxic, very competitive and cut-throat” and said Schofield “ignored” junior staff.

The Mail on Sunday claims that when it tried to publish details of the backstage dramas at This Morning, the channel “instructed an expensive London lawyer to kill the story”.

ITV reportedly denied the accusations.

Schofield himself took to Instagram to defend the show, writing: “This Morning IS the best show to work on, with the best people. In all the years I worked there, there was no toxicity.”

ITV has announced that it will be launching an independent external investigation into the scandal, to be conducted by a top barrister.

The channel’s bosses will also appear before a House of Commons Select Committee to answer questions about the Schofield affair in a televised hearing on Tuesday.

An ITV spokeswoman told MailOnline: “ITV and the This Morning team are incredibly proud of the 12 and a half hours of award-winning live television they produce every a week. It takes a huge team [and] is a fast-paced environment.

“We have robust mechanisms in place for complaints to be raised and those that are, are appropriately investigated.

“What we’re hearing from the This Morning team is that they just don’t recognise the picture that some are painting about the show.”

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