Ant Middleton said the “woke patrol” took SAS: Who Dares Wins, and that led him out of the series.
On Tuesday, Channel 4 said it would no longer work with him because of “his behavior”.
No further details were provided, but there were speculations linked to Middleton’s controversial comments on social media.
On Wednesday, the Daily Mirror reported that Middleton had made inappropriate comments to a member of the program.
In response, Middleton told Good Morning Britain that he had accepted that he was not the easiest person to work with and that he “had a lot of heads” with the production team – especially since the idea, in his view, had been watered down.
However, Ant notes that the language and behaviors that were opposed were necessary to protect the authenticity of the war-based series.
“Over the years, the PC patrol have kicked in, the woke patrol have kicked in to the point where we can’t say anything, we can’t be ourselves,” he told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.
Channel 4 told BBC News: “Our decision not to renew Ant Middleton’s contract and not to work with him again was solely based on his personal conduct off camera and is not related to his on-screen persona as a DS. SAS: Who Dares Wins will continue to be as tough as it’s ever been.”
Channel 4’s Statement
Channel 4 told BBC News: “Our decision not to renew Ant Middleton’s contract and not to re-engage with him depended heavily on his behavior outside the camera and has nothing to do with his screen as a DS. SAS: Who Dares Wins will continue to be as tough as ever.”
On Wednesday, Middleton said: “When I filmed the last episode, it became a half-scripted sort of reality show, full control was taken from me, from health and safety to production.”
“And after that I said, ‘Look, I’m not going to make a film anymore, I’m done with SAS: Who Dares Wins’. I wanted to participate in a healthy and positive way.
“[Channel 4] knew I was going, and all of a sudden they dropped this bomb about Black Lives Matter, about been axed.”
Last June, Middleton apologized after calling protesters of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the English Defense League (EDL) “a serious problem”. In March last year, he backtracked when commenting on the coronavirus after urging people to “continue as normal”.
Middleton continued: “Ultimately what they’re doing is they’re protecting their brand and they knew I was going, they got in there before me.”
“Everything else is smoke and mirrors, all these excuses that are coming out, everything like inappropriate comments.”
No Longer Military Reality
Referring to allegations of inappropriate comments, Middleton said: “It’s like, ‘You’re on SAS: Who Dares Wins. We say inappropriate things, we do inappropriate things. If you get offended by them, then then so be it.’
“The course is a hardcore course, it’s gritty, you’re going to see inappropriate things, you’re going to witness inappropriate things, but it’s never direct.”
Middleton said he hadn’t been told the details of an alleged complaint from a female staff member but said he assumed it was someone objecting to a “military banter”-style comment he might have made on set about a new recruit.
The 40-year-old said his relationship with working with the station and the company that produced the show started out as a beauty, but he could no longer make the show a “military reality”, as it was originally intended.
In its first statement, Channel 4 said: “After many discussions with Channel 4 and Minnow Films about his behavior it has become clear that our views and values are not aligned and we will not work with him again.”
But Middleton responded Wednesday: “The Channel 4 statement with Minnow Films is irrelevant and very complex.
SAS: Who Dares Wins has run for seven series, since 2015, and former United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) soldier Middleton has been the chief instructor throughout.
The show sees civilians put through gruelling military training exercises to test their physical and mental strength.