ITV personality Piers Morgan will be leaving his hosting position on Good Morning Britain this week following backlash over comments related to Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. Last weekend, Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, were interviewed by Oprah and detailed several instances of abuse she faced as part of Britain’s Royal Family. Meghan further claimed that the abuse she endured made her contemplate suicide during her pregnancy. When Meghan announced that she intended to seek professional help to deal with these feelings, she was met with discouragement from the Royal Family, who felt that it would be bad for the monarchy.
Following the interview, Morgan spoke derisively of Meghan’s comments, expressing doubt that she ever had suicidal thoughts during Monday’s taping of Good Morning Britain. Morgan’s response to Meghan’s interview drew immediate backlash, both from his fellow Good Morning Britain hosts and the public at large. Ofcom, a British television regulator, announced that it received close to 41,000 complaints about Morgan in the days following his comments about the interview. In her own complaint to ITV, Meghan is reported to have alleged that Morgan’s comments will have detrimental effects on others who are experiencing mental health crises. Due to the many complaints, regulators with Ofcom say that they will investigate the incident. Despite the backlash, Morgan remains defiant, arguing that he was only expressing his opinion. In a tweet, Morgan said that he still believed that Meghan was exaggerating her mental state and remains unconvinced that she was suicidal.
Morgan addressed the controversy during Tuesday’s episode of Good Morning Britain. Morgan’s co-host, Alex Beresford, questioned Morgan about his former relationship with Meghan. Beresford pointed out that both Morgan and Meghan had a professional relationship before Meghan cut him off. When Beresford implied that Morgan no longer liked Meghan because she decided to sever ties with him, Morgan walked off stage, saying that he could “no longer do this.” Late in the evening on Tuesday, ITV said that Morgan would be departing from his hosting duties on Good Morning Britain and would no longer comment on the story.
Thus far, public opinion has mostly been in favor of Morgan’s departure. Many social media users say Morgan’s comments hint at a callousness to those suffering from mental illnesses and minorities who face discrimination due to their race. Nevertheless, others feel that Morgan is being unfairly punished for expressing his opinion. Morgan’s longtime friend and collaborator Sharon Osbourne tweeted her support, saying that Morgan is paid to express his views on a variety of topics.