During the widely talked-about interview with host Oprah Winfrey, which aired on CBS on Sunday, March 7, Markle spoke about her alleged mistreatment from the royal family and even revealed she had thoughts of suicide. While many sympathized with the former actress, Morgan joined another group of critics who voiced their doubts on their social media pages following the special’s debut.
The Guardian, who initially broke the news, reported that a formal complaint was filed with ITV on behalf of Markle following the broadcast of “Good Morning Britain” on Monday, March 8. A statement obtained by CNN read, “Meghan’s complaint to ITV concerned the impact Morgan’s comments could have on others and how it could degrade the seriousness of mental health issues. The complaint did not relate to the personal nature of Morgan’s attacks.”
By the following day, Ofcom — a British broadcasting regulator — had received over 41,000 complaints about Morgan’s behavior. An investigation has since been launched into whether the host’s comments broke the United Kingdom’s broadcasting code relating to harm and offense.
Morgan questioned Markle’s statements during his show, saying, “I don’t believe a word she says, Meghan Markle.” He added, “I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report and that fact that she fired up this onslaught against our royal family, I think is contemptible.”
The host garnered a significant amount of backlash for his comments from critics online and even his colleague Alex Beresford. The weatherman defended Markle and her husband Prince Harry, telling Morgan that although he understood the host’s personal relationship with the former Duchess did not end amicably, she has never spoken ill of him, “yet you continue to trash her.”
As Beresford continued, a visibly disgusted Morgan stormed out of the studio, saying, “OK, I’m done with this, sorry, no, can’t do this.” The weatherman labeled Morgan’s behavior as “pathetic” and “diabolical.”
Morgan subsequently stepped down from his hosting duties. Hours later, ITV released a statement confirming the news, stating: “Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave ‘Good Morning Britain.’ ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.” ITV’s chief executive, Dame Carolyn McCall, maintained that Morgan’s rant was not “manufactured.”
The host has shown zero remorse since his on-air temper tantrum. On Twitter he wrote that after reflecting on his statement, he still didn’t believe Markle. Tuesday evening, he tweeted yet again, “Thinking of my late, great manager John Ferriter tonight. He’d have told me to do exactly the same thing. @GMB #TrustYourGut.”