Piers Morgan has pulled out of hosting a television awards ceremony following a social media backlash over the “inappropriate” choice for the job.
The Good Morning Britain presenter, who has drawn criticism for his support of US President Donald Trump, was lined up to host the Royal Television Society (RTS) awards, a celebration of British television.
After a petition to stop him from presenting was started and criticism on Twitter, the ex-newspaper editor announced he was standing down so not to be a “distraction”.
“I was recently invited to host the Royal Television Society Programme Awards.
“As someone who has worked in British and American television for most of this Millennium, on a variety of shows, I thought it might be fun and agreed to do it without any fee.
“After my role was announced, a campaign was started to have me banned.
“It suggested that I lack the ‘creative excellence’ criteria required for presenting such an event and therefore my presence would be ‘damaging’ and ‘inappropriate’.
“Further, I have ‘failed to understand a social movement that values equality and diversity of voice.’
“Apparently, this movement does not extend to tolerating my own diverse voice.
“I have no wish to serve as an unnecessary distraction from award winners whose hard work and skill should be celebrated without any of the silly noise this campaign has generated.
“So, I am now withdrawing from hosting the evening.
“Good luck to everyone who has been nominated.”
Here is some of the criticism ...
But he had support from his GMB co-host, Susanna Reid.
Rowling joined thousands on Twitter in delighting at comedian Jim Jefferies’ jibe at Morgan on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ as he defended Trump.
Trump and Morgan became friends when the ex-Daily Mirror editor won the celebrity version of The Apprentice.
Morgan has underlined their closeness when he told The Sun on Sunday recently: “He calls me ‘Champ’ because I won Celebrity Apprentice. It’s cool having the US President call you Champ.”