British journalist Piers Morgan has attracted more than 57,000 complaints to TV regulator Ofcom over his comments about Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex on Good Morning Britain show.
On 9 March, Morgan said he “didn’t believe” a word Meghan said in the interview with Oprah Winfrey. He later walked out of the ITV programme on-air and eventually quit the network.
The duchess herself is among those who have complained to the watchdog.
Morgan responded on Twitter: “Only 57,000? I’ve had more people than that come up & congratulate me in the street for what I said. The vast majority of Britons are right behind me.”
Ofcom, which has regulated British TV since 2003, has already launched an investigation into Good Morning Britain. On Wednesday, a spokeswoman said the investigation was ongoing.
A further 4,398 complaints have been made about the Oprah interview itself, which was broadcast on ITV on 8 March. Some objected to the duke and duchess’ claims about the Royal Family, some about the timing given the Duke of Edinburgh’s ill health, and some about the use of allegedly misleading press headlines in the programme.
Ofcom said: “We’re assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, before deciding whether or not to investigate.
Meghan accused an unnamed member of Britain’s royal family raising concerns about how dark their son, Archie’s skin might be and pushing her to the brink of suicide, in a tell-all television interview to celebrity interviewer Oprah Winfrey.
The day after its UK broadcast, Morgan said he did not believe her, adding that “the fact that she’s fired up this onslaught against our Royal Family I think is contemptible”.
He briefly walked off the programme after clashing with weather presenter Alex Beresford, and he was criticised by mental health charity Mind.
Morgan later conceded that it was “not for me to question if she felt suicidal”, but has defended his “right to be allowed to have an opinion”.