Piers Morgan, who resigned as the host of Good Morning Britain after he received flak for his comments about Meghan Markle on the show, will not be charged, the UK media regulatory board Ofcom announced on Wednesday.
On March 7, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, appeared on a show with Oprah Winfrey, where they talked about their struggles and disappointment with the British royal family. Markle had said that her mental health worsened while she was an active member of the royal family and there was no help from the Buckingham Palace.
Stating that she had been having suicidal thoughts, she said, “I was ashamed to say it at the time… I just didn’t want to be alive any more.”
On his show Good Morning Britain on March 8, Morgan questioned the veracity of Markle’s claims and said, “I don’t believe a word she says, Meghan Markle. 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.”
His comments caused an uproar, with even his co-host on the show, Alex Beresford, calling him out. Morgan stormed off the sets and resigned shortly thereafter. He was later called out by several celebrities and public figures post his exit from the channel.
After concluding its investigation into the issue, Ofcom announced that it had found that the content of the show was not in breach of its broadcasting rules. Acknowledging that Morgan’s comments were potentially harmful and offensive to viewers, the regulatory body said that it made the “finely-balanced decision” taking into account the strong public reaction to Morgan’s comments and his freedom of expression.
Ofcom also noted that it received over 50,000 complaints following Morgan’s remarks, but there were also 802 messages expressing support for Morgan and objecting to his “removal” from Good Morning Britain.
“Our decision is that overall the programme contained sufficient challenge to provide adequate protection and context to its viewers,” Ofcom said, referring to the rebuttals put forth by Beresford while on air with Morgan. Beresford had called out his co-host’s insensitive approach towards Markle and her issue.
After getting the clean chit from Ofcom, Morgan took to Twitter on Wednesday and wrote, “I’m delighted OFCOM has endorsed my right to disbelieve the Duke & Duchess of Sussex’s incendiary claims to Oprah Winfrey, many of which have proven to be untrue. This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios. Do I get my job back?”
However, it is unclear if Morgan will be back on ITV anytime soon. Mirror UK reported that the broadcaster does not plan on offering Morgan the position of host again.