Broadcaster Piers Morgan is leaving ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” after it was announced that the show was being investigated amid thousands of complaints regarding his comments about Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.
The United Kingdom’s Office of Communications announced it was investigating the show’s Monday episode under its “harm and offence rules.” The office said it received 41,015 complaints about Morgan’s remarks following Meghan and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
ITV said Tuesday that, following discussions, Morgan had decided to leave the program.
“ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add,” the statement said.
In a tweet hours after the ITV announcement, Morgan seemed to refer to his departure.
“Thinking of my late, great manager John Ferriter tonight,” Morgan said. “He’d have told me to do exactly the same thing.”
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 9, 2021
Morgan, who has been notably critical of Meghan, on Monday said he was “sickened” by the couple’s interview and called it a “trash-a-thon” of the monarchy. He criticized Meghan and Harry for dropping a “race bombshell” regarding an alleged conversation in which a family member questioned how “dark” their children’s skin would be.
He also implied that he didn’t believe Meghan when she described having suicidal thoughts.
Piers Morgan defiant over Meghan comments after leaving breakfast TV show
March 10, 202100:39
“I don’t believe a word she says, Meghan Markle,” Morgan said. “I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report, and the fact that she fired up this onslaught against our royal family I think is contemptible.”
Tiffany Connor said she filed one of the 41,000 complaints after seeing Morgan’s comments on Meghan’s mental health from Monday’s show. In her complaint, which she shared with NBC News, Connor wrote that Morgan’s comments “perpetuates the stigma” of mental illness and is in direct conflict with ITV’s campaign to promote mental health conversations.
Connor is training to become a cognitive behavioral therapist and works with the U.K.’s National Health Service. She also said she is a survivor of suicide and bullying.
“I guess I felt a duty with what I’ve lived through but also see every day at work to protect others and to support people who are and have been like me,” Connor said. “I believe that people can have the power in numbers to make positive change.”
In other segments, Morgan questioned guests as to whether it was truly racist to question what a mixed race child’s skin might look like. Guest Shola Mos-Shogbamimu on Monday called Morgan a “disappointment” during a heated debate about the monarchy’s colonial history and racism.
“I wish to God one day you even surprise me,” Mos-Shogbamimu said. “You constantly use your platform as a wealthy, white privileged man with power and influence to aggravate and escalate bigoted, sexist, racist and misogynist attacks on Meghan Markle.”
Morgan responded by calling her comments “race-baiting nonsense.”
‘You want to deny the Royal Family has any racist undertones or actions simply because you’re in love with the Queen?’
‘What a load of race-baiting nonsense.’
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) March 8, 2021
On Tuesday, fellow ITV presenter Alex Beresford confronted Morgan about his commentary on Meghan over the years and called Monday’s episode “hard to watch.” Morgan walked off the “Good Morning Britain” set as Beresford condemned him.
“I understand that you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle, or had one, and she cut you off,” Beresford said. “She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has, but yet you continue to trash her.”
Morgan got up from his seat, telling Beresford, “You can trash me mate, but not on my own show.”
Piers Morgan just walked off the Good Morning Britain set (!!!) after co-presenter Alex Beresford defended Harry and Meghan and condemned Piers' treatment of them in yesterday's programming pic.twitter.com/mH75J8ND4O
— Chris Rickett (@chrisrickett) March 9, 2021
The conversation continued after the show went to break, with Morgan returning to his seat. Morgan clarified that he “did not know her that well” regarding this prior relationship with Meghan.
“All it did was inform me that she has a bit of streak in her where she cuts people out of her life and moves on,” Morgan said. “That’s fine, she’s entitled to do that, but she’s done it to her whole family apart from her mum. We’ve got her dad coming on now, he’s been disowned, she’s got a track record of it, which I just find is informative about her personality.”
“The Good Place” actor Jameela Jamil expressed happiness Tuesday at the news of Morgan’s departure from “Good Morning Britain.” Jamil had a public fight with Morgan last year on Twitter following the death of “Love Island” host Caroline Flack, who died by suicide.
“I almost killed myself a year ago because of Piers Morgan’s relentless campaign of lies and hatred against me last February,” Jamil said. “I’m glad I’m still alive today for many reasons.”