Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan stormed off the set of the UK morning show mid-episode on Tuesday, after one of his colleagues held him accountable for recent criticism of Meghan Markle. And now the show is being investigated for the episode featuring said comments.
First, some context: During Markle and Prince Harry’s well-watched interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night, Markle spoke candidly about her negative experiences with both the royal family and the British press. In a particularly sobering segment, she revealed that the intense public scrutiny surrounding her prompted suicidal thoughts, for which she was unable to get any help at the time.
On Monday’s Good Morning Britain broadcast, Morgan was irate about the interview, which he called “a two-hour trash-a-thon of our royal family, of the monarchy, of everything the Queen has worked so hard for.”
Later in that episode, after the show played a clip of Markle admitting to suicidal thoughts, Morgan said, “I don’t believe a word she says, Meghan Markle. I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report. (His co-host Susanna Reid replied, “That’s a pretty pathetic reaction to someone who has expressed those thoughts,” while the British mental health charity Mind condemned Morgan’s statement on Twitter.)
During Tuesday’s episode of the ITV morning show, weatherman Alex Beresford further took Morgan to task for his previous comments — labeling them as “absolutely diabolical behavior” — which prompted Morgan’s exit from the set.
“I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle. You’ve made it so clear a number of times on this program,” Beresford said. “And I understand that you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle, or had one, and she cut you off. She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to. Has she said anything about you since she’s cut you off? I don’t think she has, but yet you continue to trash her.”
At that point, Morgan replied, “OK, I’m done with this,” and left the stage, which Beresford countered was a “pathetic” response. But Morgan did return later in the show, and though he maintained he doesn’t believe “what Meghan Markle says generally in this interview,” he restated his position on mental health and 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 that they need every time,” he continued. “And if they belong to an institution like the royal family they should seek that help and 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.”
Update: The UK regulatory commission Ofcom announced on Tuesday, “We have launched an investigation into Monday’s episode of Good Morning Britain under our harm and offence rules,” after receiving more than 41,000 complaints about the episode featuring Morgan’s commentary.
Update No. 2: Morgan has officially parted ways with Good Morning Britain, according to a statement from ITV.
Watch Morgan’s exit from the set below:
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