ITV “vigorously” defended both Piers Morgan and Good Morning Britain during Ofcom’s investigation about the divisive presenter’s comments about Meghan Markle, chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall has insisted.
Earlier this year, Piers was heavily criticised when he cast doubt on claims made by the Duchess of Sussex during her landmark interview with Oprah Winfrey, including some about her mental health.
This incident led to more than 50,000 complaints made to Ofcom – more than any other moment in TV history – with Meghan reportedly making a complaint directly to McCall.
While Ofcom later ruled that ITV was not in breach of their guidelines by broadcasting Piers’ remarks, McCall has maintained that she stuck up for Piers and the daytime show while they were under investigation.
Speaking at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention, McCall said: “I will just say that we vigorously defended both the programme and Piers to Ofcom, and the reason we didn’t get pulled up by them is because of the programme making.”
McCall added: “[There’s] no way we wouldn’t be absolutely not just endorsing but championing freedom of speech and freedom of expression.”
Following these comments, Piers – fresh from his win at the TRIC Awards – tweeted: “So why did I have to leave?”
After stepping down from GMB on the same night Ofcom announced they’d be beginning an investigation, Piers has made a number of seemingly conflicting comments about the nature of his exit.
While he initially said that his departure was “amicable” and that it was his own decision to leave, he later blamed “cancel culture” for him “losing” his GMB role.
Last month, it was reported that Piers will not be invited back to GMB despite Ofcom’s ruling, with the divisive presenter insisting he wouldn’t return even if he were asked – unless ITV were to apologise to him publicly.