Piers Morgan quit his job as co-host of Good Morning Britain yesterday, following a formal complaint from Meghan Markle to his network ITV. Morgan had said he did not believe the Duchess of Sussex’s claims in her Sunday night interview with Oprah Winfrey. PA Media reports that Markle had expressed concerns that his comments may affect others attempting to deal with their mental health problems.
Morgan’s decision to leave the British breakfast show came after a difficult Tuesday morning broadcast in which he stormed off set after fellow presenter Alex Beresford accused him of ‘absolutely diabolical’ treatment of Meghan Markle.
In a statement, the broadcaster said:
‘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.’
Tensions clearly heightened after the show, with ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall putting herself firmly in the Meghan camp — telling the press that she ‘completely believes’ what Markle said while encouraging people to speak up over mental health. That came after Ofcom announced it was investigating the show’s Monday episode under its ‘harm and offense rules’ and had received 41,015 complaints about Morgan’s remarks. It has now been confirmed that Markle herself submitted a formal complaint to ITV about Morgan.
It’s understood that ITV wanted Morgan to recant publicly, or apologize — something he was unlikely to be keen to do. Since arriving at GMB, Morgan has rode the wave of the culture war — asking questions many others don’t want to, whether of royals or government ministers. His monologues are like Marmite — they’ve also brought viewers in.
But this time ITV’s corporate values on mental health came up against Morgan’s personal opinion of Markle. His dismissal of Markle’s claim that she ‘didn’t want to be alive any more’ during her time as a full-time royal was at odds with ITV’s mental health campaign, ‘Britain Get Talking’. It was ITV’s corporate values that won out.
Cockburn will be watching the viewing figures following Morgan’s departure with interest…
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