ITV
News

This Morning slammed for airing controversial interview

Some viewers expressed shock over Holly and Phil's latest guests

| Updated:

This Morning has left viewers divided after airing an exclusive interview with bullied schoolboy Keaton Jones and his mother.

A video of the visibly upset youngster talking about being bullied went viral this week after a slew of big name celebrities spoke out in his support.

But Keaton and his family have faced backlash in the subsequent days.

ITV
Keaton’s video went viral this week (Credit: ITV)

Photos emerged which allegedly showed members of the family with the Confederate Flag, although his mum, Kimberly, fiercely denied accusations of racism in an interview with ABC News this week.

Read more: First look at EastEnders star in Holby City 

There has also been confusion over whether Kimberly was seeking financial gain from the video, after a GoFundMe page was set up under her name.

It’s unknown whether the page was genuine or if the family was actually involved.

ITV
Keaton and Kimberly spoke via video link from Tennessee (Credit: ITV)

Keaton’s video has been viewed more than 20 million times now.

His mum told Holly and Phil she initially recorded the video to use locally, sending to teachers and members of the community to see if they could raise awareness and prompt some sort of change.

She insisted she had no idea it would go viral.

Keaton, 11, hasn’t been to school since the video was released, with Kimberly saying she wanted to let the interest in it die down first.

ITV
Kimberly said she wants life to go back to normal (Credit: ITV)

Holly and Phil said this would be Kimberly’s only UK interview and final interview ever on the subject.

She and Keaton both said they want the interest to disappear and life to return to normal. “Whatever that looks like,” added Kimberly.

Before saying goodbye, Phil broached the controversies surrounding the family.

He said: “This video has come with an enormous wave of love and sympathy and support and sensitivity and alongside that, these sort of… when a video goes viral, it can come with negativity as well.

“To the point where, you Kimberly, have wished you never had social media in the first place. That you’ve felt on trial by the media. The GoFundMe accusations, the accusations of racism. All of that has really hurt, hasn’t it?”

ITV
Kimberly said she feels judged and sentenced by strangers (Credit: ITV)

Kimberly replied: “Yes, I’ve said over and over that I’m an adult and I know who I am. The backlash to my children… the truth that keeps coming from all these people who have no idea.

Read more: Another shocking twist for Max in tonight’s EastEnders

“I’ve been judged and sentenced; my friends and family have been judged and sentenced. All based on two pictures and people who don’t know us. That’s something I wouldn’t wish on anybody. What it’s about is still not what it’s about.

“It’s a little bit ironic that it’s brought the bullies out.”

Many viewers were unhappy with This Morning for airing the interview given the controversy.

Other viewers, however, felt whatever may have happened within his family shouldn’t take away from Keaton’s experience.

This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am.

Related Topics