Appearing on Good Morning Britain on Monday (8 March) morning, Morgan criticised Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, including a segment in which Meghan revealed that she’d considered taking her own life due to the abuse she’d received for joining the royal family.
“Who did you go to? What did they say to you?” Morgan asked on GMB. “I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she said, Meghan Markle. I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report.”
Susanna Reid, Morgan’s co-host, replied: “Well, that’s a pathetic reaction to someone who has expressed those thoughts.”
ITV News’s royal editor Chris Ship told Morgan: “Someone saying that they had suicidal thoughts, I don’t think you can say that she was lying at that point. She had these thoughts, pretty serious ones, she took them to HR.”
While Morgan’s “hateful” comments were widely criticised on social media, many viewers particularly pointed out the “hypocrisy” of ITV allowing the presenter to say this on TV while running its Britain Get Talking mental health campaign.
Launched last year, the campaign encourages people to reach out and open up about their mental health.
“ITV is one of the leading broadcasting channels in the UK and it is very vocal about talking about mental health with the ‘Britain Get Talking’ campaign yet they allow Piers Morgan to disregard suicidal thoughts and mental health live on national television,” one commenter wrote.
“ITV running an entire mental health campaign around reaching out to people who need it the most while allowing Piers Morgan to say he doesn’t believe a black woman had suicidal ideation on their flagship show says everything you need to know about corporate wellbeing posturing,” another tweet read.
“@ITV if you lot keep Piers Morgan on your platform after all that you’ve churned out about mental health over the past year, you’ll be the biggest hypocrites known to man,” another viewer wrote.
“Madness that ITV spent so much time and money talking about mental health, working with some of the biggest charities to get the nation talking just to continuously allow Piers Morgan to openly diminish and disregard what Meghan went through,” one Twitter user wrote, adding: “Doesn’t add up to me.”
“Piers Morgan asserts he has no problem with people suffering from *genuine* mental health problems. *HE* doesn’t BELIEVE Meghan’s suicide ideation,” another tweet read.
“A self-appointed expert casting aspersions on the legitimacy [of] mental health issues on ITV, a network running MENTAL health campaign?”
The Independent has contacted ITV for comment.
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email email@example.com, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.