Piers Morgan quits ‘Good Morning Britain’ after heated exchanges about Meghan
Piers Morgan is out at the TV show “Good Morning Britain” after he made inflammatory remarks about Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, following her Oprah Winfrey interview alongside husband Prince Harry.
“Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain,” the network said Tuesday in a statement. “ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”
The move came after U.K. communications regulator Ofcom fielded more than 41,000 complaints about attacks from Morgan — a big supporter of the monarchy — on the duchess, prompted by the Oprah interview.
“We have launched an investigation into Monday’s episode of Good Morning Britain under our harm and offence rules. As of 14:00 on Tuesday 9 March, we have received 41,015 complaints about the programme,” Ofcon tweeted Tuesday.
Who was it? Oprah clarifies Harry and Meghan’s comments about racism in royal family
Meghan and Harry spoke about a family member’s fears that their son might be ‘too brown.’ On Monday, Oprah revealed who they weren’t talking about.
Morgan had been a cohost on “Good Morning Britain” since 2014. He still hosts ITV’s “Life Stories,” a weekly chat show.
The noted defender of the monarchy walked off the set of “Good Morning Britain” Tuesday after a heated exchange with cohost Alex Beresford about Meghan, the royal family and racism.
Beresford had brought up the host’s past friendship with Meghan, which Morgan said began over Twitter in 2015. In a 2018 column for the Daily Mail, Morgan explained that he chatted with Meghan extensively online, then finally met up with her at a London pub. Meghan met Harry later that night, Morgan wrote, and she ghosted the TV host from then on.
“I understand that you have a personal relationship with, or had one, and she cut you off .... Has she said anything about you since she cut you off?,” Beresford said. “I don’t think she has, but yet you continue to trash her.”
Meghan Markle “might be marrying into a family that could cause some emotional complications,” TV host John Oliver told Stephen Colbert in 2018.
“OK, I’m done with this,” Morgan said as he got up from the desk and proceeded to leave the set. “Sorry, no, sorry. ... See you later. Sorry, can’t do this.”
“You know what, that’s pathetic,” Beresford said to others in the studio. “This is absolutely diabolical behavior. I’m sorry, but Piers spouts off on a regular basis and we all have to sit there and listen. ... Yesterday[’s show] was incredibly hard to watch.”
Beresford, who identifies as mixed race, later tweeted, “I wish I had the privilege to sit on the fence. In order for me to do that I would have to strip myself of my identity and that’s not something I can do. It’s not any of our places to pick apart claims of racism in order to make us to feel more comfortable.”
Morgan had also clashed with cohost Susanna Reid at the beginning of Monday’s show.
“I’m angry to the point of boiling over today. I’m sickened by what I’ve just had to watch,” Morgan said of Meghan and Prince Harry’s interview, talking over Reid as she tried to add her own comments.
Britain’s royal family say it is “saddened” by Prince Harry and wife Meghan’s “concerning” allegations of racism shared in an Oprah Winfrey interview.
“Sorry, you can defend it in a minute,” he told her. “I’m just going to say what I’m going to say. This is a two-hour trash-a-thon of our royal family, of the monarchy, of everything the queen has worked so hard for, and it’s all being done as Prince Philip lies in hospital. They trash everybody. They basically make out the entire royal family [are] a bunch of white supremacists by dropping this race bombshell. They didn’t name which one it was. They just throw it out there, so it can be any member of the royal family.”
Morgan called on Harry to name the person who allegedly inquired about the skin tone of the couple’s then-unborn son, Archie. The prince did clarify via Winfrey later Monday in the U.S. that it was neither the queen nor her husband but refrained from outing the person in question.
Morgan said he got increasingly angry as he saw how the interview was being received by U.S. audiences.
After Reid brought up Meghan’s talk about suicidal thoughts and other mental health issues, Morgan said, “I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she says, Meghan Markle. 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.”
The two-hour extravaganza on CBS demonstrated the power of broadcast TV -- and Oprah Winfrey.
And Morgan tangled on Monday’s show with author and activist Shola Mos-Shogbamimu over race issues. The guest branded the entire royal institution as based in colonialism, white supremacy and racism and chided the queen for failing to protect Harry and Meghan.
“I find what you’re saying about the queen absolutely disgraceful,” Morgan said as Mos-Shogbamimu continued speaking loudly over him. He told her at one point that she was “not allowed to spew lies” about how many royals allegedly commented on the baby’s skin color. (Meghan and Harry said it was one; Mos-Shogbamimu implied it was more than one.)
“I think what you just said about the queen is disgusting. I think it’s unbelievable,” he said. She shouted back, “You are disgusting! You are disgusting! Am I lying when I said that?”
Morgan spent time on Twitter before his “GMB” exit was announced sparring with the likes of American actress Ellen Barkin — yes, really — and saying “yes” to a tweet that asked, “Can we just cancel Piers Morgan.” Around the time the news broke, he posted a silent gif of a clock, with the words “Tick tock” written over it.
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