Controversial commentator Piers Morgan celebrated a major victory amid his ongoing feud with Meghan Markle with a flurry of jubilant tweets.
The British media watchdog has cleared TV personality Piers Morgan of any wrongdoing after a fiery rant against Meghan Markle that sparked a dramatic exit from Good Morning Britain.
Media regulator Ofcom said Morgan did not break the broadcast code when he called the Duchess of Sussex a “liar” in a March television segment.
Tensions were high over Morgan’s live exchange where he criticized Markle’s explosive interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey and dismissed his struggle with suicidal thoughts.
“I don’t believe a word of what she says,” he said on live television. “I wouldn’t believe a weather report if she read it.
“The fact that she has expressed an attack on our royal family is despicable.”
Rabid viewers quickly contacted Ofcom with the media regulator receiving 57,000 complaints including one from the Duchess of Sussex.
At the time, ITV management asked the longtime reporter to apologize to Markle if he wanted to keep his job. Morgan has instead left British television.
Months later, Ofcom’s decision upheld Morgan’s anti-Markle commentary in a move hailed by many as a victory for free speech.
The media watchdog found the comments Morgan made “potentially harmful and offensive” but ultimately decided they were not breaking the broadcast code.
In accordance with free speech, Morgan had the right to say he did not believe the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s allegations and to have and express firm opinions which rigorously disputed their account, ”said the regulator.
“The [Ofcom broadcasting] the code allows individuals to express strong and well-reasoned opinions, including those that are potentially harmful or very offensive.
“Restricting such opinions would, in our view, be an unwarranted and appalling restriction on the freedom of expression of both the broadcaster and the public.”
The astonishing overnight victory saw Piers Morgan’s name erased – sparking a series of celebratory tweets from the reporter blasting ITV and the Sussexes.
“I am delighted that OFCOM has approved my right not to believe the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s inflammatory allegations to Oprah Winfrey, many of which have been proven to be false.”
“This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios. Do I get my work back? “
Morgan said the decision was a “resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchio”, who believes we should all be “forced to believe every word they say”.
He claimed it was a ‘Marklegate’ moment and joked that he was getting his job back with Good Morning Britain.
Despite Ofcom’s verdict, ITV sources told the Mirror there was “no plan” for Morgan to return to Good Morning Britain.
Royal commentator Robert Jobson said the move was a “common sense victory,” but pro-Sussex supporter and Finding Freedom author Omid Scobie questioned Ofcom’s decision.
“One of those restrictions is ‘protection of health or morals’ which makes me question @ofcom’s decision,” he said.
“While everyone should be free to express their opinion on public figures, discrediting a person’s mental health issues on television reinforced a dangerous stigma and put others at risk.
Morgan hit back in a scathing tweet.
“Get off, Lickspittle. You just trashed the queen in your garbage book without worrying about the sanity of a 95 year old woman mourning the loss of her husband.
Morgan’s Twitter rant continued after ITV released a statement.
The statement said: “We welcome Ofcom’s decision that Good Morning Britain did not violate broadcast standards relating to harm and violation.
“The ruling makes it clear that it was the balance and context provided by those responsible for the program that were critical in mitigating the potential for harm and infringement that may have been caused by Piers Morgan’s comments.
“It is because of the editorial decisions of the program and the opposing opinions which have been forcefully expressed by other presenters and guests that the program has not broken Ofcom rules.”
Morgan rejected ITV’s claims and argued that the alternative views expressed by colleagues had nothing to do with the media regulator’s decision.
“Hmmm, ITV just released a statement saying that I didn’t win the @Ofcom case against Princess Pinocchio because my colleagues expressed views different from mine.”
“That’s not what the @Ofcom report says in its conclusion. I suggest ITV read it again. Backhand index pointing down Backhand index pointing down.
He then called on fans to vote him as presenter of the year at the 2021 National TV Awards, saying it was the one thing that would anger “Princess Pinocchio” more than Ofcom’s decision.
Prince Harry’s authorized biographer Angela Levin backed Morgan’s victory and claimed Meghan would be furious with the verdict.
“She can’t stand someone who says she hasn’t told the truth.”
The Duchess of Sussex accused the Royal Family of racism in the televised conversation which went on to earn an Emmy nomination.
“In those months when I was pregnant [there were] concerns and conversations about the color of her skin when she was born, ”Meghan said.
When asked who was responsible for the comments, Meghan declined to name the person, saying it would be “very prejudicial to them”.
“This conversation, I will never share it,” Harry told Oprah and added “At the time it was awkward, I was a little shocked”.
Talk Show host Oprah Winfrey then passed on a clarification from Prince Harry, who said the racist comment did not come from the Queen or Prince Harry.
During the interview, Meghan also claimed she was on the verge of suicide, claiming her mental health had deteriorated to the point that she “didn’t want to be alive anymore” but was denied help.
She also spoke of her loneliness and loss of independence upon joining the royal family and claimed that she went to the palace’s human resources department but that “nothing was ever done”.
Morgan’s exit from UK television followed her on-air rant about Markle’s comments in an infamous March interview with Oprah Winfrey.