Following tens of thousands of complaints, UK media regulator Ofcom is investigating comments Piers Morgan made that were critical of Meghan Markle.
Ofcom “launched an investigation after more than 41,000 people wrote in to complain about ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’ host Piers Morgan’s comments on Meghan Markle,” Variety reported earlier this week.
“We have launched an investigation into Monday’s episode of ‘Good Morning Britain’ under our harm and offence rules,” confirmed an Ofcom spokesperson.
Morgan said on-air that he “didn’t believe a word” of what Markle said during her sit-down interview, which aired on Sunday night, with husband Prince Harry and host Oprah Winfrey.
Markle and Prince Harry most notably claimed that Markle was a victim of racism at Buckingham Palace from the British tabloids, and that a member of the royal family, whom the pair did not name, expressed concern over the color of their son Archie’s skin while Markle was pregnant.
“I could see the way it is already playing in America and around the world. This is a caricature, a portrait of our monarchy and Royal Family which I think is contemptible,” Morgan stated. “Okay. Let’s have the names. Who did she go to? What did they say to you? I’m sorry; I don’t believe a word she says, Meghan Markle. I wouldn’t believe it if she read me the weather report.”
Markle had reportedly filed a complaint with ITV, which produces “Good Morning Britain,” over Morgan’s criticism.
Barrons reported: “Meghan Markle filed a formal complaint with British broadcaster ITV, after a presenter criticised her claims against the royal family and later quit. … Britain’s domestic Press Association news agency said it understood Meghan formally complained to ITV before he resigned, confirming a report in the Daily Telegraph newspaper. The complaint focused on how his remarks may affect those trying to deal with their own mental health problems, it added.”
Morgan walked off the show Tuesday but is standing by his words, and his right to say them.
“Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on,” he tweeted.
“On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview,” Morgan said. “I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions.”
Morgan also clarified his position on mental health, after he was accused of being flippant about such conditions relative to Markle speaking of past suicidal thoughts during the Sunday night interview.
“When we talked about this yesterday, I said, as an all-encompassing thing, I don’t believe what Meghan Markle is saying generally in this interview and I still have serious concerns about the veracity of a lot of what she said,” Morgan said. “But let me just state for the record on my position on mental illness and on suicide. These are clearly extremely serious things and should be taken extremely seriously and if someone is feeling that way they should get the treatment and the help they need every time. And if they belong to an institution like the Royal family and they go and seek that help they should absolutely be given it.”
“It’s not for me to question if she felt suicidal, I am not in her mind and that is for her to say,” he added. “My real concern was a disbelief frankly… that she went to a senior member of the Royal household and told them she was suicidal and was told she could not have any help because it would be a bad look for the family. If that is true a) that person should be fired and b) the Royal family have serious questions that need to be answered.”