Piers Morgan’s controversial comments about Meghan Markle’s testimony during her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey have been cleared by media regulator Ofcom. The ruling comes after a record number of complaints were filed with the regulator as well as ITV, the network behind Good Morning Britain where Morgan made the comment. One of the over 57,000 complaints filed came from the duchess herself, which probably makes this victory all the sweeter for Morgan.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s Oprah Winfrey Interview Leads To Fall Out For Piers Morgan
Right after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey aired, Piers Morgan quickly cast doubt on the Duchess of Sussex’s claims. In the interview, she’d said she was discouraged from seeking therapy or other mental health care after struggling with suicidal thoughts and claimed that a member of the royal family had wondered aloud to Harry about how dark the couple’s children would be.
During a broadcast of Good Morning Britain, Morgan hotly insisted that he didn’t “believe a word she said” and he “wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report.” He’d also exclaimed, “the fact that she’s fired up this onslaught against our Royal Family I think is contemptible.” After clashing with weather presenter Alex Beresford about his statements, Morgan briefly walked off the show’s set.
That evening, it was announced that he was departing from the program he’d been an often controversial part of for six years. While Morgan later admitted that it was “not for me to question if she felt suicidal,” he still defended his “right to be allowed to have an opinion” on the matter.
Investigation Finds Morgan’s Comments Protected Under Freedom Of Expression
After an investigation into the incident, media regulator Ofcom cleared ITV, the network behind GMB, writing in its findings that restricting Morgan’s opinions would amount to an “unwarranted and chilling restriction” on freedom of expression, though it did heartily criticize his “apparent disregard” for the touchy subject of suicide.
Morgan Still Rebuked Over Approach Towards Suicide
“We were particularly concerned about Mr. Morgan’s approach to such an important and serious issue and his apparent disregard for the seriousness of anyone expressing suicidal thoughts,” the regulator stated. If not for the fact that Morgan’s co-hosts, Susanna Reid and Chris Ship, challenged his assertions and “adequate protection for viewers,” Ofcom continued, it “would have been seriously concerned.”
Reaction From Morgan And What’s Next For Him
Following the ruling, Morgan said he was “delighted” with the findings, adding that it was “a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios,” his personal nickname for Markle. He also tweeted out a photo of a newspaper declaring the news of the ruling, though he took some umbrage with one part of the reporting.
For the record, Morgan is 56-years-old. Though he has tasted victory thanks to this ruling, Morgan still lost his position on the popular British morning show. In the aftermath of the ruling, he has demanded his job back, but it’s unclear whether he’ll manage to score another win on this front quite yet.