Piers Morgan Controversy: Piers Morgan’s Most Controversial Career Moments, 6 Times the Tv Host and Journalist Sparked Outrage
Alex Beresford, a weather presenter, called out the British journalist and TV personality for his comments the day before following Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which he stated he “did not believe a word” when the Duchess of Sussex said she felt suicidal while pregnant with baby Archie.
The combination of his remarks and the more than 41,000 complaints received by the broadcasting regulating authority Ofcom led to the end of his six-year run as the morning news show’s anchor.
On Tuesday night, an ITV spokesperson issued a statement reading: “Piers Morgan has decided to quit Good Morning Britain, after having discussed the matter with ITV. ITV has made no more comments in response to this decision.”
Morgan, on the morning of the third, stated he still stood by his statements. You may recall that I expressed scepticism about Meghan Markle’s honesty in an Oprah Winfrey interview on Monday. I’ve had time to think about it, and I still don’t agree,” he tweeted. And that’s fine if you did
I am willing to lay down my life for the right to free speech. All the support and criticism is greatly appreciated. Now I must go and have a long talk about my thoughts.
The news, like Morgan himself, has polarised opinions. Many Twitter users, upset by his most recent and previous insults regarding the duchess, expressed their joy at the news.
Piers Morgan’s dismissal from ITV should not have been precipitated by his characterization of a woman who had discussed suicidal thoughts as a “liar.” What, after all these years of harassment, Markle still isn’t safe? To say nothing of transphobia. Also, the sexism. Or his many years of professional ineptitude?” tweeted critic and writer Kayleigh Donaldson.
“Even if the only thing the Oprah interview accomplishes is Piers Morgan abandoning his programme, it will still be a triumph,” remarked actress and podcast presenter Katy Stoll.
However, following a hearing of Morgan’s resignation, many of his famous contemporaries tweeted their support.
The other judge on America’s Got Talent, Sharon Osbourne, said: “P.M.I.’s Piers Morgan Yes, I support you completely. It’s official: you have my support. Some people may not realise that you are being compensated to share your thoughts and opinions.”
On the other hand, football legend and current commentator Gary Lineker remarked, “Whether it’s a football manager, a television presenter, or any profession for that matter, it’s always terrible when someone loses their job.” Because he is so skilled at his craft, I have no doubt that we will soon be seeing Piers Morgan on our television screens again.
Morgan has built his reputation on stirring up controversy. He has even confessed that that is what keeps him going.
“I like clashing with people, I like controversy, I like being at the centre of a firestorm,” he told The Sunday Times in 2020. “In addition, I now have a consciousness of who I am. When I consider my actions over the past few years, I find that many of them were really boring.”
Here we take a look back at five more career moments that were polarising.
Piers Morgan’s most controversial moments
Fake Torture Pictures
Morgan worked as editor of the Daily Mirror, a British tabloid, for eight and a half years before making the transition to television. After the daily published photos on the front page that purportedly showed members of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment of the British Army torturing prisoners of war in Iraq, he was fired in 2004.
The newspaper received the photos and posted them as an exclusive, but they turned out to be phoney, leading to a front-page retraction and, eventually, Morgan’s dismissal.
Morgan explained his dismissal from the company in a 2013 interview with Politico by saying he was not willing to apologise on his own behalf. He added, “No one has ever shown me any real evidence that those were phoney images.”
They let me go from my job. Sorry, but I just can’t do it. And I just can’t get myself to believe that they were necessarily forgeries. Nobody has ever faced charges related to this. No one ever identified the photographer. At the last minute, they chose the soldier they had detained as a prosecution witness in another torture case, giving the impression that he was credible and preventing the prosecution and the forgery of the photographs. If solid evidence ever appears showing that they were all false, I will apologise.
‘utterly Unpersuasive’ Phone Hacking Comments
Despite his leadership role at the Daily Mirror during the time it was involved in the phone hacking scandal that rocked British media in 2011, Morgan has consistently denied any involvement in the affair. To the best of Morgan’s knowledge, he has never hacked a phone or published any story gained through such means.
Some of Morgan’s arguments in his testimony were described as “utterly unpersuasive” by Justice Sir Brian Leveson in the following year’s report from the Leveson Inquiry into the affair. That Morgan was “sufficiently unembarrassed by what was criminal behaviour that he was prepared to joke about it” and “knowing that it was taking place in the press as a whole” were both points of emphasis in his analysis.
In 2007, Morgan wrote an article for the Press Gazette in which he called phone hacking a “investigative procedure that everyone knows was going on at practically every publication in Fleet Street for years,” which Leveson cited as the basis for his accusations.
Cnn Show Axed
After relocating to the United States, Morgan replaced Larry King on CNN’s evening lineup in 2011 with the premiere of Piers Morgan Live. The show was cancelled in 2014 after three years of weak ratings and mixed reviews and controversy.
Partially because he wasn’t American himself, and partly because of his firm stance on gun legislation, which led to several contentious confrontations on air, he was unable to establish a rapport with the American public.
After the programme was cancelled, he told The New York Times, “I’m in danger of being the guy down at the end of the bar who is always going on about the same thing.”
According to him, “this British person lecturing them how to lead their lives and what they should do with their guns… is not going to impress anyone.” Without a shadow of a doubt, some people in the room are getting sick of hearing me talk about it.”
Morgan joined Susanna Reid as co-host of Good Morning Britain in 2015 and has since prided himself on being “like Marmite,” meaning that viewers either love him or detest him. In 2020, he was accused of “humiliating” the show’s weather reporter, Laura Tobin, by making “sexist” comments about her wardrobe, one of several times during his stay on the show when his contentious statements made headlines.
Morgan made Tobin uncomfortable by commenting on her leather pants, saying, “can we speak about your hot pants for a second?” His next accusation was that she was “parading” around in “skintight leather hot pants,” and he framed it as such: “People are bound to be impressed when a female weathercaster flaunts her toned legs in a pair of skintight leather pants.
Many viewers wrote in to express their displeasure, arguing that Tobin should be allowed to wear whatever she pleases.
Morgan, though, would not apologise. Later, he said, “If she is going to wear figure-hugging leather trousers, I am going to notice.” “You wore them on purpose so that people would take notice, just as you do with everything else you put on.
“Why is it offensive if I call you hot?”
Accused of ‘mocking’ Chinese people
Morgan received backlash on social media last year after he portrayed Chinese people in a GMB segment about Peter Phillips, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II.
The host was referring to a time when Phillips appeared in a Chinese television commercial promoting milk and made fun of the Chinese language. As proof that Phillips “exploited” his royal status, he remarked, “Can you imagine the next royal event being, ‘I’m sorry your majesty, but I only drink yang yank Yong Ying ming milk.'” This was spoken in reference to Christmas at Sandringham.”
He then remarked, “OK then, ching chang Chong, OK I got it,” as the commercial began playing again.
His co-host Reid criticised his “very 1970s” remarks.
But Morgan continued: “You must be able to laugh it off. According to the commercial, he is using state-produced Chinese ching chang Chong milk.”
After receiving hundreds of complaints to Ofcom and backlash on social media, Morgan tweeted, “I was criticising a member of the British royal family appearing in an advert for Chinese state milk, not Chinese people.”