06/12/2019 09:50 GMT | Updated 06/12/2019 09:52 GMT

Eamonn Holmes Says He 'Hasn't Learnt Anything' Over Meghan Markle 'Uppity' Row

Ofcom received a complaint about the This Morning host over his use of the word, which was originally an insult to Black people.

Eamonn Holmes has claimed he “hasn’t learnt anything” from the row that erupted after he called Meghan Markle “uppity” on This Morning.

The presenter prompted a complaint from a viewer to TV watchdog Ofcom after using the word on air earlier this year, who said the term is racist.

While it was later reported that Eamonn had been “reprimanded”, a spokesperson for ITV denied this, but did say it had been a “point of learning” for him.

However, in an interview with Metro, Eamonn has now said: “I haven’t learnt anything from it.

“I’d keep it as a national conversation. I don’t have anything to say about it.”

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Eamonn Holmes

He added: “People can make their own judgment whether they think it was a deliberately racist remark or not, so that’s all I have to say about that. People can have their own views on it.”

The Cambridge English Dictionary’s definition of an “uppity person” is someone who “behaves in an unpleasant way because they think that they are more important than they really are”.

However, historically the word was used in the US in the 19th Century as an insult to Black people who “didn’t know their place”.

Eamonn made the remark on the ITV daytime show in July, during a discussion about the Duchess Of Sussex’s requests for privacy with reporter Lainey Lui who was in Canada. 

The TV host said: “If you have an uppity attitude, you’re only through the door two minutes and suddenly you’re sitting at Wimbledon and your royal protection are saying, ‘No photographs, no photographs!’ You do know. If that was somebody in Canada, you would be writing [that] they’re right up their own backside.”

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The Duchess Of Sussex

According to the Daily Mail, following the broadcast the complainant also wrote to ITV’s Head of Diversity, Ade Rawcliffe, who responded to the viewer explaining that Eamonn “was unaware of the history of the term ‘uppity’ and how it could be interpreted”. 

They said: “Eamonn was using the term to describe what he interpreted as arrogance.”

ITV later went on to tell HuffPost UK: “It is absolutely untrue to state that Eamonn was reprimanded in any way for his use of language.

“The conversations with Eamonn and the production team involved an explanation of the possible interpretation of the word, on the basis of a single complaint made to the channel following the broadcast, therefore this was a point of learning for the wider team, not a rebuke.”

The broadcaster also denied reports that it had banned the use of the word.

This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am on ITV.

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