Piers Morgan ‘remains a great friend’ says Susanna Reid
Broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, received over 58,000 complaints about Piers Morgan’s comments towards Meghan Markle in March, after she and Prince Harry took part in a shocking Oprah Winfrey interview. Sharing a ruling that was 97 pages long, the broadcasting regulator said while Piers’ comments were ‘potentially harmful and offensive’, they did not breach the broadcasting code.
The ruling is monumental for modern-day understandings of freedom of speech in the world of journalism and television.
Ofcom officials wrote: “The interview between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey contained serious allegations and it was legitimate for this programme to discuss and scrutinise those claims including their veracity.
“Ofcom is clear that, consistent with freedom of expression, Mr Morgan was entitled to say he disbelieved the Duke and Duchess’s allegations and to hold and express strong views that rigorously challenged their account.
“The Code allows for individuals to express strongly held and robustly argued views, including those that are potentially harmful or highly offensive, and for broadcasters to include these in their programming.
“The restriction of such views would, in our view, be an unwarranted and chilling restriction on freedom of expression both of the broadcaster and the audience.”
But swathes of fans of the Duchess expressed their dissapointment with the decision.
One person wrote: “Shows you how important anyone’s mental health, bullying and slander are to their “code’”. Quite disgusting really.”
Piers Morgan said Megan and Harry drop ‘incendiary unsubstantiated bombshells about their family’
After the Ofcom ruling this morning, Piers took to the internet to celebrate his victory.
He wrote a personal column, which stated: “Ofcom’s vindication of me is a resounding victory for freedom of speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios who think we should all be compelled to believe every fork-tongued word they say.”
He also tweeted: “I’m delighted Ofcom has endorsed my right to disbelieve the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s incendiary claims to Oprah Winfrey, many of which have proven to be untrue.
“Do I get my job back?”
ITV’s Royal Editor Chris Ship tweeted: “So what does @ITV do about @piersmorgan’s job at @gmb now @Ofcom has cleared the programme and the TV network of a breach of the broadcasting code?”
Do you think ITV should rehire Piers Morgan as host of GMB? Vote in our poll and share your thoughts in the comments section.
In the Oprah interview that began the whole controversy, Meghan opened up about her mental health struggles during her time as a working royal, saying she “didn’t want to be alive anymore”.
She added: “I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. And I said that I’d never felt this way before. I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t because it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”
In response, Piers refuted the Duchess’s claim that her plea for help to Buckingham Palace was rejected.
He said on GMB: “Who did you go to? What did they say to you? I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she says.
“I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report, and the fact that she’s fired up this onslaught against our royal family, I think is contemptible.”
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BREAKING: @Ofcom rejects all complaints against me over Meghan Markle furore that led to my exit from @GMB. Verdict says I was entitled to disbelieve her & Prince Harry & to restrict my right to do so would be a ‘chilling restriction on freedom of expression.’ ������ pic.twitter.com/m040VOTbKi
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 1, 2021
Mental health charity Mind condemned Piers’ comments at the time, releasing a statement which read: “We were disappointed and concerned to see Piers Morgan’s comments on not believing Meghan’s experiences about suicidal thoughts today.
“It’s vital that when people reach out for support or share their experiences of ill mental health that they are treated with dignity, respect and empathy.
“We are in conversations with ITV about this at the moment.”
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On the following day’s GMB show, Piers clarified his position on the matter, saying: “When we talked about this yesterday, I said as an all-encompassing thing, I don’t believe what Meghan Markle is saying generally in this interview, and I still have serious concerns about the veracity of a lot of what she said.
“But let me just state on the record my position about mental illness and on suicide.
“These are clearly extremely serious things that should be taken extremely seriously, and if someone is feeling that way, they should get the treatment and help they need every time.”
But he later stormed off the set during live broadcast, after co-host Alex Beresford, said that Piers was “cut off” by Meghan and “continues to trash her”.
Piers Morgan quit GMB, but reports claim ITV gave him little choice in the matter.
What was your opinion on the drama that unfurled? Let us know by commenting below.
Published at Wed, 01 Sep 2021 13:25:00 +0000