Eamonn Holmes says Dr Zoe's hair is like an alpaca
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During last Thursday’s This Morning, ITV host Eammon Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford were back to co-host the daytime programme. However, Eamonn sparked uproar during one segment after he described Dr Zoe Williams’ hair as “alpaca-ish”. Following his comment, the presenter acknowledged his actions and sent an apology to the GP and Dr Zoe also took to social media to publicly accept Eamonn’s apology. The host received backlash from viewers online and TV watchdog, Ofcom has since confirmed they received 156 complaints regarding Eamonn’s comments. It is not yet clear whether an investigation will be launched.
On Thursday’s show, Eamonn told Dr Zoe: “Your hair reminds me of an alpaca today, you just want to pet it, don’t you?”
“It’s very alpaca-ish,” he went on to add.
Dr Zoe replied: “Don’t touch my hair!” as Ruth chipped in: “Yeah don’t touch the hair! Thank you, Zoe see you later.”
At the time, viewers took to social media to express their annoyance at the TV presenter with calls for him to be sacked.
One fan raged: “Absolutely disgusting racist behaviour from @EamonnHolmes when @DrZoeWilliams is trying to do the job that she does so well. @ITV @thismorning he needs to be SACKED.” (sic)
Another penned: “It was a bad comment by Eamonn Holmes to Dr Zoe. For a racist comment. Should get rid.” (sic)
Responding to the backlash, Eamonn acknowledged his remarks in view of his one million followers.
He penned: “Hey everyone out there. If my attempt at being humour with my friend @DrZoeWilliams was misjudged, I am mortified and humbly apologise to anyone who was offended.”
Fans of the show were quick to respond to Eamonn’s apology, with some showing their support for the host.
“You could never offend anyone, Darling,” one user tweeted.
Another added: “Don’t worry, Eamonn, in my opinion from watching you for years if anyone thinks you would ever be deliberately rude or unkind is looking for something to complain about.”
Dr Zoe also responded to Eamonn’s remark on Instagram, where she told her followers she had accepted his apology.
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“I know that many people may have been upset by Eamonn’s remark on air yesterday, and Eamonn has himself acknowledged that his comments made to me on This Morning were misjudged,” the GP began.
“He has done the right thing by apologising to me directly, and I have accepted his apology.
“What I want to say is that I’m aware that his remarks, though meant without malice, have offended people.
“And if that comment had been made to me by a stranger, then I too would likely have been offended.
“It was misjudged and I think it’s fair to say that both Eamonn and I wish it hadn’t been said.”
Discussing the social media backlash, Dr Zoe explained: “I have had lots of comments and questions sent to me about what happened yesterday, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect before responding.
“Sometimes it is difficult to know how to respond in these situations, so I feel it is best to speak honestly and from the heart.
“I feel torn as on the one hand it pains me to see the abuse that Eamonn has been receiving because of this (that’s not ok either). Eamonn is a friend of mine, he’s one of the most warm-hearted people in television and has always been supportive of me and my career.”
The TV doctor went on to add that on one hand, Eamonn’s comments have “opened the door to a conversation”.
“I’ve spent most of my life hearing comments about my hair from people who aren’t my friend, often combined with an attempt to touch my hair and it has a very different impact,” she added.
“After a lifetime of ‘laughing it off’, I am only just now learning to set boundaries for myself.
“These comments can be called microaggressions and I’m sure people watching who’ve had similar experiences reacted to yesterday’s comments just as if it had happened to them.”
Express.co.uk has reached out to ITV for comment.
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.
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