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Piers Morgan Gloats Over Outcome of Markle Probe

More than 50K complaints were lodged
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2021 3:20 PM CDT
Piers Morgan Gloats Over Outcome of Markle Probe
File photo of Piers Morgan, who walked off of his job at Good Morning Britain after saying he didn't believe anything Meghan Markle says. The UK Office of Communications has released a statement saying technically that broadcast didn't violate standards.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, file)

(Newser) – The UK’s Office of Communications has issued a 97-page report following a months-long investigation into an episode of Good Morning Britain. The upshot: The controversial comments Piers Morgan made about Meghan Markle are not technically in violation of broadcast standards. It’s not exactly an endorsement, but Morgan is celebrating the win. The British TV personality quit in a huff on air in March after taking flak for his criticism about Markle. Now he’s tweeting this: "This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios. Do I get my job back?"

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NBC News reports that Morgan's comments, which garnered 57,000 complaints, were in response to Markle's interview with Oprah Winfrey in which she said, among other things, that her experience with the British royal family left her with suicidal thoughts and in need of mental health help. Morgan described himself as "sickened" by what she and Prince Harry said to Winfrey. "I don’t believe a word she says," he said of Markle. The Office of Communications called its decision "a finely-balanced" one, stating the comments "were potentially harmful and offensive to viewers, and we recognize the strong public reaction to them. But we also took full account of freedom of expression."

It said that ITV, which airs Good Morning Britain, should take greater care to place discussions of suicide, suicidal thoughts, and mental health in context or attach warnings to them, and that the comments were potentially offensive. Morgan responded to the "stunning verdict" in a length opinion piece for the Daily Mail. He writes that "this insidious 'cancel culture' ... represents the most serious threat to democracy in my lifetime," which makes OFCOM's decision a "watershed moment in the battle for free speech."

He goes on to write of Markle specifically, saying he was "reliably informed recently that Meghan Markle wrote directly to my ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall the night before I was forced out, demanding my head on a plate. Apparently, she stressed that she was writing to Dame Carolyn personally because they were both women and mothers—a nauseating playing of the gender and maternity card if ever there was one. What has the world come to when a whiny fork-tongued actress can dictate who presents a morning television news program?" (Read his full essay here.)

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