Isabel Webster erupts at guest in fiery ageism row over claims elderly are 'intimidating' and 'scary'

Isabel Webster erupts at guest in fiery ageism row over claims elderly are 'intimidating' and 'scary'
Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 31/08/2023

- 09:19

Updated: 01/09/2023

- 11:31

Things got rather heated on Thursday's Breakfast with Eamonn and Isabel when a debate about ageism broke out

The debate began after a New York school rolled out lessons for students to respect older people, following claims that anti-ageism among youngsters stems from portrayals in Disney movies.

Isabel Webster and Eamonn Holmes welcomed former Apprentice star Ryan-Mark Parsons and journalist Dawn Neesom to the show to discuss whether society is "failing and insulting" the elderly.

Neesom triumphantly stated she "doesn't feel old" and "age is just a number" before reeling off the likes of Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney as inspirational older celebrity figures.

She then took aim at Disney and agreed with the fact its portrayals of the elderly are often in a negative light.

Parsons disagreed and was quick to lay out his opposition to Neesom's point of view.

"I just think it's ridiculous," he began right away before slamming the New York official's decision to try and roll out these lessons.

Ryan-Mark Parsons

Ryan-Mark Parsons clashed with Isabel


He continued: "You just need to examine the facts, I get why Disney and the maker of Disney movies are portraying villains to be elderly because they're scary, I think there's no seeing past that -"

Gobsmacked at Parsons' claims, both Neesom and Isabel interjected in disbelief before the GB News host asked: "What? More than a young person?"

"Absolutely," Parsons insisted before Isabel probed further: "Based on how they look? Do you have grandparents?"

When Parsons said he did, Isabel asked: "Do you find your grandparents more scary than your parents?"

But before Parsons could answer, Eamonn cut in to side with the Apprentice star as he said grandchildren would and used the example of his own grandkids and his late mother.

Isabel hit back, however, suggesting fear in youngsters would be because of a "lack of exposure" to older people.

"If you have regular contact with somebody older and they're someone you love, you understand they're no different to anyone else!" Isabel protested.

But Parsons stood firm and claimed younger people looked less intimidating, which shocked Isabel who hit back: "Just totally don't judge a person on whether they're intimidating or not on what they look like!"

Parsons then argued an older person with "grey hair, wrinkles and hunched" is more "scary" to a child when portrayed that way on-screen.

Eamonn interjected to again defend Parsons before he explained: "The thing I think about ageism and I do believe it exists, is respect - and it will happen to you, Ryan."

Eamonn and Isabel

Eamonn and Isabel hosted the debate on Thursday's show


Neesom then decided to weigh in and took issue with both Eamonn and Parsons' point of view as the age of someone is something that still is discriminated about to this day.

When Isabel continued to side with Neesom, the panel found themselves clashing again over whether or not it would be patronising to describe an older person as "cute".

Isabel branded the idea as "insulting" which prompted Parsons to pull no punches as he replied: "Well, I think that's pathetic."

The GB News host let out a laugh before Neesom claimed: "Younger people have lost respect for the elderly!"

In the end, the debate drew to a close with everyone giggling as Parsons suggested someone is deemed as old when they hit 40.

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