A recent ruling by a media watchdog in Great Britain concerning Piers Morgan and Meghan Markle has been roundly celebrated by tabloid and newspaper editors in the country. One editor even went so far as to say the ruling marks “open season” against the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. This is apparently especially good news for opinion writers, who’ll use the opportunity to “take the gloves off” in their reporting about Markle and Prince Harry.
British commentator Piers Morgan was handed a victory that might mean bad news for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. A media watchdog in Morgan’s native Great Britain, Ofcom, found that his commentary following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview was allowable thanks to freedom of speech laws. Immediately after the interview aired, Morgan bashed Markle, saying he didn’t believe a single word she’d said.
Some viewers, including Markle herself, took offense at Morgan’s fiery rant against the duchess, particularly because she’d explained she’d suffered from suicidal thoughts during her time with the British royal family. After fielding over 50,000 complaints, Ofcom began an investigation. Unrelated to the investigation, Morgan was let go from his longtime gig at Good Morning Britain, where he’d made the comments.
When the investigation came to a close, it was determined that Morgan had the right to insist he didn’t believe Markle. The watchdog did emphasize that his seeming dismissal of her suicidal thoughts was unacceptable, but luckily his GMB co-hosts provided alternative positions that evened things out. Morgan was gleeful following the decision, and it’s clear that plenty of other people in the industry see this ruling the same way.
A British newspaper editor told the Daily Beast, “I think for many commentators/opinion writers they’ll use the ruling to take the gloves off. It’ll be open season.” The unnamed editor went on to remark that the ruling would likely appeal to opinion writers who aren’t “bound as much by restrictive laws that news editors face and that Harry and Meghan exploit to the full.” The last bit of that comment is a clear reference to Harry and Markle’s recent court victories against various media companies.
This does certainly open doors for some of the royal couple’s biggest critics, though those critics haven’t exactly been quiet about their dislike for the Sussexes before the ruling. It will be interesting to see what these commentators have to say about the royal renegades and how the California-based couple will react.