News & Politics

Cancel Culture Comes for Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan (AP Photo)

British commentator Piers Morgan is out at Good Morning Britain after co-hosting the ITV show for six years. ITV did not explain what prompted Morgan’s decision to step down, but he faced a great deal of outrage for questioning the veracity of Meghan Markle’s claims that the royal family harbored racism and that she had suicidal thoughts during her time at Buckingham Palace.

“Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain,” ITV announced in a statement. “ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”

Over the weekend, Markle leveled serious accusations against the British royal family in an interview with Oprah Winfrey on CBS News.

“I just didn’t want to be alive anymore, and that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought,” Markle told Oprah. “I went to the institution, and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help… and I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

“In those months when I was pregnant [with son Archie]… we had, in tandem, the conversation of he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Markle said.

Piers Morgan said he didn’t believe Markle’s claims.

“I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she says,” Morgan said on Good Morning Britain on Monday. “I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report.”

Morgan noted that Markle never named the person who allegedly raised concerns about Archie’s skin color, and he noted that she never named the person who allegedly told Markle she couldn’t have any psychological help when she reported suicidal thoughts. In her own statement about the situation, Queen Elizabeth II suggested both allegations were news to her, but she expressed sympathy with Markle and promised a private internal investigation.

Queen Elizabeth II Responds to Meghan Markle’s Racism Accusations

Good Morning Britain hit a new ratings record after that interview.

Piers Morgan’s skepticism seems rather warranted, given the disingenuousness of Markle’s claim to victimhood. While it is possible Meghan Markle experienced a new kind of loneliness with the British royal family, and this may have seriously weighed on her, she spent much of the Oprah interview congratulating herself and lamenting how hard her life was in the castle.

As journalist Meghan Kelly put it, “Give me a break. Have you ever seen such privileged people wallowing in their own (perceived) victimhood like this?”

Yet Morgan received a great deal of criticism for his remarks. Britain’s telecommunications regulation agency Ofcom received more than 41,000 complaints regarding his comments.

On Tuesday, Piers Morgan decided to clarify that he did not minimize serious mental health struggles, but he insisted that he does not trust Meghan Markle on the issue.

“When we talked about this yesterday, I said as an all-encompassing thing I don’t believe what Meghan Markle is saying generally in this interview, and I still have serious concerns about the veracity of a lot of what she said,” he began. “But let me just state on the record my position about mental illness and on suicide. These are clearly extremely serious things that should be taken extremely seriously, and if someone is feeling that way they should get the treatment and help they need every time.”

That statement did not satisfy Piers Morgan’s critics, however. His own co-host, Alex Beresford, attacked him on air.

“I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle, you’ve made it so clear a number of times on this program,” Beresford said, confronting Morgan. “And I understand that you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle, or had one and she cut you off.”

“Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has, but yet you continue to trash her,” Beresford claimed.

At that point, Morgan got off the set, saying, “Okay, I’m done with this, sorry, no, sorry… see you later, sorry, can’t do this.”

I don’t always agree with Piers Morgan, but he should be free to doubt Meghan Markle’s salacious claims. While he should not have walked off of the set when Beresford criticized him, that hardly seems like a reason to resign.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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