High – profile television personality Piers Morgan did not breach Britain’s broadcasting code in his criticism of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on ITVs ‘Good Morning Britain’ show earlier this year, Britain’s media regulator ruled on Wednesday.
The programme in March, in which Morgan said he did not believe a word Meghan had said in a landmark interview she and her husband gave to Oprah Winfrey, attracted more than 50,000 complaints. Most concerned comments Morgan made on mental health and suicide.
Meghan, who during the Winfrey interview revealed she had felt suicidal while living as a royal in Britain, complained to both Ofcom and ITV about the programme. Morgan left his job on the show following the incident.
‘Our decision is that overall the programme contained sufficient challenge to provide adequate protection and context to its viewers’, Ofcom said.
In an interview that shook Britain’s monarchy, Meghan, a Hollywood actor who married Prince Harry in 2018, said the royal family had also rejected her please for mental health support. The couple have stepped back from royal duties and moved to the United States.
‘I’m delighted OFCOM has endorsed my right to disbelieve the Duke & Duchess of Sussex’s incendiary claims to Oprah Winfrey, many of which have proven to be untrue’, Morgan said on Twitter.
‘This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios. Do I get my job back?’
A.U.S – based spokesperson for the Sussexes was not immediately available for comment out of working hours.
Ofcome said that while it was concerned about Morgan’s apparent disregard for the seriousness of anyone expressing suicidal thought, the extensive challenge offered by his colleagues throughout the show provided sufficient context.
‘The restriction of such views would, in our view, be an unwarranted and chilling restriction of freedom of expression both of the broadcaster and the audience’, it said.