Piers Morgan storms off Good Morning Britain set following confrontation with co host, Alex Beresford as the star now quits following mounting criticism of his handling of Meghan Markle interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Did one media icon go too far? ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’ shows star host, Piers Morgan has left the top rating television program a day after the broadcast outlet was besieged with thousands of complaints to a UK media regulator following the unrepentant tv host’s ‘stinging’ criticism of Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex and her husband, Prince Harry – after the airing of their US interview with Oprah Winfrey over the weekend.
British media regulator Ofcom announced on Tuesday it was formally investigating Good Morning Britain over a fiery episode on Monday which covered the fallout with the royal couple’s interview with Oprah Winfrey on CBS.
Morgan, whose brief friendship with the former Suits actor turned sour after she met Harry in 2016, cast doubt over her claims that she was on the verge of suicide and accused the couple of displaying contempt for the Queen during Monday morning’s broadcast.
‘I don’t believe a word she says, Meghan Markle. I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report,’ the bellicose anchor said.
Morgan’s own colleagues criticized him on air and said he had gone too far. Morgan walked off the set on Tuesday after co-star, Alex Beresford said Morgan’s conduct the day earlier was ‘incredibly hard to watch’.
Piers Morgan having a normal one, storms off the set of his own show pic.twitter.com/gsk4hPSdWu
— Gavin Coote (@GavinCoote) March 9, 2021
Piers Morgan quits
Ofcom just on 5 p.m announced it would probe the episode under its harm and offense rules. The regulator said it had received more than 41,000 complaints about the program.
British television network ITV announced an hour later that Morgan would leave the show.
‘Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain.
‘ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.’
Morgan, 55, is one of Britain’s most prominent media figures after a long career at The Daily Mirror and now defunct News of the World. He later switched to US television and was CNN’s replacement for the retiring Larry King.
Morgan joined Good Morning Britain in 2015. The show’s rating have surged over the past year amid Morgan’s criticism of the UK government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
In Tuesday’s episode, Beresford said he had experienced racism in Britain and had sympathy for Meghan’s experience.
Personal opinion vs actual reporting
‘I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle,’ Beresford said.
‘You’ve made it so clear a number of times on this program, and I understand that you had a personal relationship with Meghan Markle and she cut you off. Has she said anything about you after she cut you off? She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to. And yet you continue to trash her.’
Morgan then stood up and walked off the set.
As Morgan left, Beresford said: ‘That’s pathetic. 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 – 6.30am to 7am yesterday was incredibly hard to watch.’
Morgan on Tuesday said it was not for him to question whether Meghan felt suicidal.
‘My real concern was a disbelief, frankly…that she went to a senior member of the royal household, told them she was suicidal and was told she could not have any help because it would be a bad look for the family,’ the host had said.
To storm out of a studio live on TV because you don’t like what your mixed raced colleague is saying about your perverse and hateful obsession with a mixed race woman who ceased contact with you, then knowing that your job will absolutely remain in tact….must be nice.
— Clarbie (@claraamfo) March 9, 2021
Piers Morgan has recently spent a lot of his time being horrible about Meghan Markle saying she’s making it all up for attention.
But after just 2 minutes of someone criticising him, Piers Morgan storms off live on TV.
— Freddie (@FreddieBailey96) March 9, 2021
When vilifying the subject matter becomes a suicide mission
‘If that is true, a) that person if they are still there should be fired and b
Responding to the fracas, ITV chief executive officer Carolyn McCall said she believed Meghan’s suicide revelations: ‘I completely believe what she said. The most important thing with mental health that ITV does and is totally committed to is that we support, we get people to speak up, we listen, we say everyone has to listen and everyone has to believe because that’s how you get people to speak up.
‘We are very committed to that.’
Julia Hartley-Brewer, a conservative radio host, linked Morgan’s departure to his style.
‘When every single person on your TV screens is identikit, dull as dishwater, toeing the line, sprouting the same woke nonsense to keep the Twitter cancel culture ghouls happy all day every day, you’ll all be bored out of your bloody minds,’ she said.
‘Be careful what you wish for.’
Which is to wonder, how far can journalists, reporters, let alone media icons go in espousing a point of view, semantics, opinions or simply theatrics, lest they offend certain sectors of the public and find themselves being parceled and cancelled out?