Piers Morgan Cleared By UK Regulator For Comments About Meghan Markle’s Mental Health
British broadcaster Piers Morgan has been cleared by the UK media regulator, Ofcom, for comments made on live TV regarding Meghan Markle’s mental health.
The 97-page Ofcom report was released on August 31. It found Morgan’s statements “not in breach of its broadcasting rules” when questioning Markle’s claims in Oprah Winfrey‘s interview of suicidal thoughts and suffering from depression.
Oprah with Megan and Harry aired on March 7 and featured the former Duke, Prince Harry and Dutchess of Sussex. In the hour-long interview, Markle spoke about what her life as a royal was like behind palace doors and how she felt trapped. She also talked about considering suicide when she felt helpless but mentioned didn’t have much support from the royals when she brought it up.
The next morning, Morgan shared his opinions on his former morning show, Good Morning Britain. Morgan called it Markle’s “acting performance of her life” and doubted Markle’s mental health claims. “The palace wouldn’t have ignored her needs,” he said.
Co-presenter Alex Beresford called Morgan out for his comments on-air and said he was always “trashing” the ex-dutchess. Morgan then stormed off the set and stepped down from the show a short time after. Fifty-seven thousand complaints were filed after the broadcast aired. Protests came from various people and organizations, including mental health charity Mind and Markle herself. Most complaints stated Morgan’s comments were “both” harmful to the audience and highly offensive. The report claims it wasn’t.
“Under our rules, a broadcaster can include controversial opinions as part legitimate debate in the public interest, and the strong challenge to Mr. Morgan from other contributors provided important context for viewers,” the report continued. “The [Ofcom broadcasts] code allows for individuals ep, express strongly held and robustly argued rules, including, those that are potentially harmful or highly offensive, and for broadcasters to include these in their programming.”
In a response to the report, Morgan wrote a column in the Daily News relishing the report’s findings.
“Ofcom’s vindication of me is a resounding victory for freedom of speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchio who thinks that we should all be compelled to believe every fork-tongued word she says.”