Piers Morgan says social media trolls ‘must be held accountable’
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, 55, has hit back at culprits who sent abuse and death threats to Gemma Collins, 40, online. In response to one troll on Twitter, the presenter branded them a “despicable little pr**k.”
It is a malevolent thing in our society now
He went on to say: “You’ll see on Life Stories this Thursday the effect trolls like you have on @missgemcollins – especially when you wish her dead.”
Replying to another, who mocked Gemma’s size, Piers added: “It does include some very emotional exchanges about her battle with her weight & nasty trolls who taunt her about it.”
Another commented: “Oh yikes, judging by the replies, this poor lady isn’t going to be well received.”
“She will be after it airs,” Piers clarified, in view of his seven million followers.
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“And the reaction is very typical of the appalling abuse Gemma has to endure on a daily basis – abuse that no woman should ever have to be subjected to.”
The Good Morning Britain star said his interview with the “irrepressible force-of-nature” reality star consisted of “tears, laughs, tap-dancing and sex tapes”.
“Love her or hate her, you’ll see a whole new side to Britain’s most talked about reality TV star,” he added.
He also addressed trolling online on the show this morning alongside co-host Susanna Reid.
He said: “Whether you do or not, nobody should have to put up with people on Twitter spewing the kind of death threats and vile abuse they have been spewing at Gemma Collins and the moment I confirmed it, the moment I announced it, the moment it started, [there were] people sending death threats saying, ‘I hope you die’.
In disbelief, Susanna replied: “What?”
He went on to say: “Literally, yes. I was reading the stuff. It’s more than what is wrong with people, it is a malevolent thing in our society now.
“And there is no regulation. If a newspaper did that or if we did that today – if we spent the next five minutes wishing people dead – we would be taken off air.
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“Literally, we would be taken off air and pulled. Ofcom would intervene and we would be taken off air but nothing happens on Twitter.”
Last week, Captain Sir Tom Moore’s family were also trolled after it was reported they had visited him in hospital before his death aged 100.
The late war veteran raised almost £33 million for the NHS last year after walking laps around his garden.
Father-of-four Piers went on to say: “These morons abuse these footballers, even Captain Tom – even Captain Tom got it!
“And, yes, maybe more divisive figures like Gemma Collins, more polarising, but she should not have to have people wishing her dead on a public platform with no repercussions.”
“It should not be allowed,” Susanna chimed in.
Piers Morgan’s Life Stories returns at 9pm on Thursday on ITV.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
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