Piers Morgan revisited his controversial departure from former employer ITV two years ago following comments he made about Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, on his breakfast show “Good Morning Britain.”
Morgan, who was taking part in a debate about news impartiality at the Royal Television Society conference on Thursday morning alongside Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy, suggested he had been “invited to leave his job” after he cast doubt on comments Meghan had made about her mental health during her May 2021 interview with Oprah.
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Posing the situation as a hypothetical — “Imagine members of the Royal Family make a series of allegations,” he said, “and one presenter stands up courageously and says ‘I think it’s a pack of lies'” — Morgan said his comments could be viewed as “due impartiality” in light of other presenters’ support of Meghan. Yet despite that and the fact that U.K. media regulator Ofcom later found his comments were acceptable, ITV “invited” him to resign, he said.
“I was completely free at ‘Good Morning Britain,'” Morgan said of his six years as the show’s main co-anchor. “I was hired to be a deliberately provocative controversialist. In fact they got the rights to play ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ for my intro music which I don’t think was a sign I was going to be due impartial.”
“For five years I expressed very strongly held opinions about everything and I never had Ofcom ruling against me. And in fact the big one which caused me to leave, Ofcom eventually came down and agreed with me.”
Discussing the increasing disintegration of mainstream news, Guru-Murthy said Morgan’s departure from ITV for Talk TV was not a net positive. “The product of this is that Piers is not on ITV and that is a shame,” the Channel 4 anchor said. “I don’t think we want to get into a situation where people like him are forced off into the fringes of the internet.”
During the debate Morgan also defended “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling. “I do believe in a thriving democratic society everybody should be entitled to have their opinions,” he said. “Really the more interesting debate for me right now is not the nuance of impartiality, it’s about the real problem [which] is establishing what facts are, what truth is.”
“We’re living in a fake news era where there are deliberate attempts to subvert the reality that’s facing us in front of our very eyes,” Morgan continued. “When you have those debates either you get shot down like J.K. Rowling or you get told you’re taking part in some orchestrated, trumped up culture war.”
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