Good Morning Britain and its network, ITV, are not in breach of the broadcasting code regarding Piers Morgan’s controversial comments about Meghan Markle back in March, according to British regulator Ofcom’s investigation findings. At the time, more than 50,000 viewers publicly complained to Ofcom about Morgan’s remarks, one of those complaints reportedly coming from the Duchess of Sussex herself.
In March, the 56-year-old TV personality stepped down as co-anchor of GMB after he stormed off the morning show set for being called out over the comments he made on-air. “I don’t believe a word she says, Meghan Markle,” he said of Markle telling Oprah Winfrey that she had suicidal thoughts when she was still a senior member of the royal family.
On Wednesday, Ofcom revealed the results of its investigation, clearing Morgan and the network of any wrongdoing. Ofcom noted that while Morgan’s comments were “potentially harmful and offensive,” it also “took full account of freedom of expression.”
Ofcom’s report also acknowledged how these comments led to a bigger conversation about race and racism.
“While we acknowledged that Mr. Morgan’s questions about the nature of racism had the potential to be highly offensive to some viewers, the conversations about race and racism in this programme provided open debate on the issues raised by the interview,” the report stated. “We also considered that the programme allowed for an important discussion to be had on the nature and impact of racism. ITV had clearly anticipated that racial issues would be discussed at length as part of the coverage of the interview and had taken steps to ensure context could be provided during the discussions.”
Following news that Ofcom had cleared him, Morgan 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. This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios. Do I get my job back?”
I’m delighted OFCOM has endorsed my right to disbelieve the Duke & Duchess of Sussex’s incendiary claims to Oprah Winfrey, many of which have proven to be untrue. This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios.
Do I get my job back? pic.twitter.com/czhzeejYpa
Good Morning Britain and ITV have not publicly addressed the investigation’s findings. ET has reached out to Markle and Good Morning Britain for comment.
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