A Sky News show segment turned into an awkward moment when a journalist walked off the set after arguing with the host.
Talking about the mass murder of LGBT people in Orlando on Sky News at 10.30pm and 11.30pm. Messed up about it but will do my best.— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) 12 June 2016
Owen Jones, who has written a book called "The Establishment" and who is also gay, was on Sky News Sunday with host Mark Longhusrt and guest Julia Hartley-Brewer. In a conversation revolving around the Orlando gay club shooting, and gunman Omar Mateen, Jones was offended when both the host and guest refused to acknowledge the massacre was a result of homophobia.
During the show when Jones called the shooting rampage a “homophobic hate crime, as well as terrorism,” Longhurst and Hartley-Brewer swiftly termed is as a “crime against humanity,” offending Jones, who was understandably upset and angry about the club massacre. Jones immediately stormed off the set.
Orlando was both a terrorist attack and a homophobic attack on LGBT people - this really isn't hard.— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) 13 June 2016
The journalist, who also is columnist at The Guardian, then wrote about his experience on the show, and why he walked off it.
On Sky News last night, I realised how far some will go to ignore homophobia https://t.co/rJ9mD6fuyV— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) 13 June 2016
“This was homophobia as well as terrorism. It is not enough to simply condemn violence: We have to understand what it is and why it happened.”
“Today, the ‘we only care about LGBT rights if Muslims are involved’ brigade are out in force,” he added. “As a gay man, I am proud to live in a city represented by a Muslim mayor who has faced death threats for supporting and voting for LGBT people to have the same rights as everybody else. The bigots must not be allowed to hijack this atrocity,” Jones wrote.
Jones doesn’t seem to be wrong since Mateen’s father Seddique Mateen himself confirmed that his son was enraged after seeing two men kissing in Miami. His co-workers also stated that on many accounts they had heard Mateen using homophobic slurs.
Responding to the situation, Sky News’ Longhurst clarified that it was not his “intention to offend.”
“I have spent most of the night getting abuse from people who claim that I’m homophobic for stating repeatedly that this was a homophobic attack and how awful it was but apparently I didn’t use exactly the right form of words,” guest host Hartley-Brewer said in response to the situation on talkRADIO the next day.