ITV’s chief executive has called on the broadcaster to “strongly defend” both Piers Morgan and Good Morning Britain during an Ofcom investigation into comments made on the show.
The former host received more than 50,000 complaints after commenting on the Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey questioning her mental health and alleged racist remarks made by a member of the extended royal family about He had spoken.
Following the uproar, Morgan left Good Morning Britain, and said in a statement: “On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in an Oprah interview. I have time to reflect on this opinion, and I am now Doesn’t either.
“Freedom of expression is a hill on which I am happy to die.”
Ofcom launched an investigation into both Morgan’s comments and Good Morning Britain, and found it did not violate broadcaster standards.
ITV’s chief executive, Dame Carolyn McCall, said the broadcaster had supported the former host and program, and supported freedom of expression.
Speaking at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention, she said: “All I would say is that we strongly defended both the program and Pierce to Ofcom, and the reason we weren’t pulled by them is because of the program making.”
He added that “there was no way we would fully support not only but also freedom of speech and freedom of expression”.
Responding to his comments, Morgan later tweeted: “So why did I have to leave?”.
Following Ofcom’s decision, Morgan had previously questioned whether he could return to his job at Good Morning Britain.
When asked if there was any possibility of Morgan returning to ITV, Dame Caroline told the conference that she had resigned from her role.
Although she said she expects to see Morgan, as well as former GB News president Andrew Neill, “working on a global platform any day soon”.
The Duchess of Sussex is said to have complained directly to Dame Caroline and Ofcom after Morgan’s comments aired in March.
Writing in his Mail Online column, Morgan criticized him for doing so, accusing him of “asking his head on a plate”.
He said that he was told by the owners of ITV to either apologize for his remarks or leave the show with immediate effect.
He wrote: “I was recently reliably informed that Meghan Markle had written directly to my ITV boss, Dame Carolyn McCall on the night I was compelled, asking for my head on a plate.
“Apparently, she insisted that she was personally writing to Dame Caroline because they were both women and mothers, an amusing game of gender and motherhood cards if there ever was one.
“What in the world has come when a raucous, prickly actress can decide who presents the morning television news program?”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /