The British TV personality Piers Morgan was cleared on Wednesday by Britain’s communications regulator over critical comments he made on air about Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, after her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Mr. Morgan had been under investigation by Ofcom, the media regulator, which received a record number of complaints in March after he criticized Meghan on air and said he did not believe her accounts of being poorly treated by the royal establishment.
In a 97-page ruling outlining the decision, Ofcom said that “Mr. Morgan was entitled to say he disbelieved the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s allegations and to hold and express strong views that rigorously challenged their account.”
In an interview broadcast in March, Meghan — a biracial former actress from the United States known for her role in the legal drama “Suits” and for her marriage to Prince Harry in 2018 — told Ms. Winfrey that when she was pregnant with her first child, an unnamed member of the royal household expressed concerns about how dark the color of the baby’s skin would be. Meghan also said that palace officials refused her requests to seek mental health treatment when she said she had become suicidal.
Responding on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” to Meghan’s claims, Mr. Morgan, who formerly anchored the daytime show, said he did not believe the duchess. More than 50,000 complaints about his criticism were lodged with the British media watchdog, including one filed by Meghan herself.
Mr. Morgan stormed off the set of the show, and later resigned, after his co-host Alex Beresford admonished him for his persistent criticism of Meghan. Ofcom announced the next day that it had opened an investigation into Mr. Morgan’s comments under its “harm and offense” rules.
On Wednesday, Mr. Morgan expressed delight on Twitter about the decision to clear him, writing that it was a “resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios.”
In his tweet, Mr. Morgan asked if he would get his old job back. In a statement, ITV said it welcomed the ruling that “Good Morning Britain” did not breach broadcasting standards, but added that it had “no current plans” to invite Mr. Morgan to present the daily morning show.
(Excerpt) Read more in: The New York Times