The boss of ITV has confirmed that the channel is having ongoing conversations with Piers Morgan following his controversial reaction on Good Morning Britain to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
On Tuesday, the channel’s CEO Carolyn McCall told reporters at ITV’s earnings conference call (via The Hollywood Reporter) that although she hadn’t spoken to Piers herself, she did confirm that ITV managing director media and entertainment, Kevin Lygo, had.
“We are dealing with that as we speak,” she said.
When she was pressed on Piers casting doubt on Meghan’s revelation that she had experienced suicidal thoughts after joining the Royal Family, Carolyn insisted: “I completely believe what she said.”
She added: “That the most important thing with mental health that ITV does and is totally committed to, is that we support, we get people to speak up, we listen, we say everyone has to listen and everyone has to believe because that’s how you get people to speak up. So we are very committed to that.”
On Monday, the organisation issued a statement condemning Piers’ behaviour, stating: “We were disappointed and concerned to see Piers Morgan’s comments on not believing Meghan’s experiences about suicidal thoughts today.
“It’s vital that when people reach out for support or share their experiences of ill mental health that they are treated with dignity, respect and empathy. We are in conversations with ITV about this at the moment.”
During Tuesday’ Good Morning Britain, the divisive presenter stormed off the set of the ITV show after clashing with his colleague, weather presenter Alex Beresford, during a discussion about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Asked about the incident, Carolyn said: “Alex made an impassioned and articulate statement really. And it was quite a noisy discussion that I don’t think there was anything manufactured about that at all.
“I think one of the things I would stress is that ITV has many voices and we try and represent many voices on ITV every day. It’s not about one opinion. And so I think that’s what happened this morning.”
She also insisted that ITV had “no control” over Piers’ Twitter because he is a freelance presenter and it is his personal account.
However, that does not apply to comments he makes on ITV shows which are “different”, she said, which is why “Kevin Lygo is discussing it with Piers”.
She added that Piers “qualified” his comments on Meghan on Tuesday morning, saying he generally doesn’t believe her but does believe her comments on suicidal thoughts.
She would not comment further on whether ITV will support or punish the presenter.