Ofcom has cleared Piers Morgan’s comments about Meghan Markle on Good Morning Britain which prompted over 57,000 complaints.
The episode of the ITV show on 8 March became the most complained about TV moment in history as Piers discussed Meghan and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah.
A total of 57,121 official objections were said to be logged about comments made by Piers on the show.
However today Ofcom dismissed the complaints, saying in a statement: “Ofcom today concluded its investigation into ITV’s Good Morning Britain, broadcast on 8 March 2021, which found the content not in breach of its broadcasting rules.
“This was a finely-balanced decision. Mr Morgan’s comments were potentially harmful and offensive to viewers, and we recognise the strong public reaction to them.
“But we also took full account of freedom of expression. Under our rules, broadcasters can include controversial opinions as part of legitimate debate in the public interest, and the strong challenge to Mr Morgan from other contributors provided important context for viewers.
“Nonetheless, we’ve reminded ITV to take greater care around content discussing mental health and suicide in future.
“ITV might consider the use of timely warnings or signposting of support services to ensure viewers are properly protected.
The full judgement can be found on Ofcom’s website here.
ITV said in a statement: “We welcome the Ofcom ruling that Good Morning Britain did not breach the broadcast standards relating to harm and offence.
“The ruling sets out clearly that it was the balance and context the programme makers provided which was key in mitigating against the potential for harm and offence which could have been caused by Piers Morgan’s comments.
“It is because of the programme’s editorial decisions and the opposing views which were forcefully expressed by other presenters and guests that the programme did not breach Ofcom’s rules.”
Responding to the ruling, Piers tweeted this morning: “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.
“This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios.”
Writing in the Daily Mail, Piers went on to describe the judgement as a “watershed moment in the battle for free speech.”.
“Do I get my job back?” he added, having left the show a day after the episode aired.
Piers has yet to be replaced on the ITV breakfast show with a host of rotating guest presenters joining the regular line up of Susanna Reid, Ben Shephard, Kate Garraway, Ranvir Singh, Charlotte Hawkins and Sean Fletcher.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV from 6AM and catch up on ITV Hub.