Piers Morgan left his job on ITV’s breakfast show Good Morning Britain last month after he questioned whether Meghan Markle had been telling the truth when she and her husband, Prince Harry, gave their tell-all interview to Oprah Winfrey. Morgan declared on live television that he simply didn’t believe her claim that negative press and lack of support from the royal household had left her suicidal, resulting in great controversy from both people who agreed and disagreed with him.
Now, Morgan is making headlines again, for two different reasons. First, for giving Fox News’ Tucker Carlson his first TV interview since leaving Good Morning Britain and claiming he has the “universal support” of the British public who are involved in the row. And secondly, for coming to the defence of fired Teen Vogue editor Alexi McCammond, who was ousted before starting her new job last month after racist tweets she posted in 2011 resurfaced online. But first, let’s have a closer look at this Fox News interview.
In his first TV interview since the public row, Morgan told presenter Tucker Carlson, one of the US’ foremost conservative broadcasters, that he stood by his comments, and claimed he had the backing of the majority of the British public. “Old, young, black, white, it didn’t matter. They’ve been coming up to me in their droves all day every day,” he said.
He then went on to accuse the couple of the “most extraordinarily disingenuous smear, hit job” on the royal family. He added that many either agreed with his comments on Markle, or defended his right to free speech. “The British people have seen through this,” he said.
According to The Guardian, it is understood that ITV executives wanted Morgan to apologise on-air for his initial response to the Winfrey interview. Instead, he said on the next day’s programme: “When we talked about this yesterday, I said as an all-encompassing thing, I don’t believe what Meghan Markle is saying generally in this interview, and I still have serious concerns about the veracity of a lot of what she said. But let me just state on the record my position about mental illness and on suicide. These are clearly extremely serious things that should be taken extremely seriously.”
Later on that same show, co-host Alex Beresford told him on air: “I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle, you’ve made it so clear a number of times on this programme, and I understand you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle and she cut you off. She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has but yet you continue to trash her.”
Morgan briefly left the set, which Beresford called “pathetic,” but later returned to front the rest of the show. Ofcom later received 41,000 complaints about his comments. His departure from the show was announced the following day.
In his interview with Carlson, which lasted for more than an hour, he accused the Sussexes of telling “so many ridiculous whoppers” in their March interview, and dismissed claims he was racist for not believing them. “[The interview was] tacky, tasteless, disingenuous, and I’m afraid, I believe, in some cases, downright lying on a global scale.”
He went on to admit he should not have walked off-set, and addressed his former co-host Susanna Reid’s statement after his departure, alleging she was “in the grip of fear.” “I think she was fearful that if she went too far in saying nice things about me, the same thing might happen to her, that there would be a huge Twitter pile-on,” he said.
Morgan also claimed that he had received “a lot” of job offers since leaving the show. He has been linked with joining the new TV startup GB News. But today, Tuesday 6 April, Morgan is making headlines again for defending fired Teen Vogue editor Alexi McCammond during that same interview.
He described her as a victim of the “woke mob” who should have been protected by parent company Condé Nast given that she’d apologised for the postings on social media. “The editor of Teen Vogue was fired before she could even start. She apologised for years about stuff she tweeted as a 17-year-old kid, but that wasn’t enough. So, apologies don’t ever get you anywhere,” Morgan railed.
“This woke mob wants to cancel people who do not follow their narratives and it’s got increasingly dangerous. I look at that poor young journalist who got fired before she even started and I ask myself, so what about the other members of that editorial team? Should we go back to their tweets when they were 16, 17 and see what’s lurking there? We already know about one of them, that didn’t live up to the holy level that they were setting for this woman. But this young woman’s career has been completely trashed and burned by the woke bonfire because she was not allowed to be contrite,” Morgan continued.
McCammond’s resurfaced tweets include one in which she wrote: “Googling how to not wake up with swollen Asian eyes.” Another since-deleted tweet read: “Give me a 2/10 on my chem problem, cross out all of my work and don’t explain what I did wrong… thanks a lot stupid Asian T.A. you’re great.”
She also used the term “homo” in another posting. These tweets were written in 2011 and resurfaced after she was named as the new editor on 5 March 2021. On 9 March, the tweets had gone viral and she was apologising for them. Initially, Condé Nast—which has a history of racism allegations—stood by her and allowed her to keep the position.
But during a time of increased attacks on American Asians, staffers said it sent the wrong message for McCammond to stay on. They wrote an open letter demanding that she be replaced and also complained directly to CEO Robert Lynch.
It has also emerged that in an email to staff around the same time, Condé Nast HR boss Stan Duncan revealed that Anna Wintour and CEO Roger Lynch knew about the decade-old racist tweets but hired her anyway.
“When this woke mob comes again, like they did for this young Teen Vogue editor, who lost her job before she could even start, you need people at Condé Nast to go, ‘Nope, not having this, sorry, off you go Wokies,’ and she keeps her job,” finished Morgan. Or what about not tweeting anything racist?
Last month, a new study by California State University found that, despite an overall decrease in hate crimes, hate crimes against Asian Americans had risen 150 per cent in the US, especially in New York City and LA. But of course, Morgan only cares about ‘freedom of speech’.
Life behind fortified castle walls is most certainly not as fairy-tale-esq as many wish to imagine, and yet society is still besotted with the idea of princes and princesses. Meghan and Harry need no real introduction here, neither does Oprah, and now the triple are airing a two-hour broadcast that reveals all the deepest and darkest secrets that drove the runaway couple away from the claws of UK royalty, Harry’s birthright family. Here’s everything you need to know about where to watch the interview, and why it’s important that you do.
Onlookers of Megan and Harry’s story have two very different sides to their views: on one hand, we have a little more of a ‘woke’ fanbase of the couple and their choices to step away from the traditionalist hierarchical society that royalty is built upon. On the other hand, for those traditionalists, there is a view of a privileged young couple who, as written in the Financial Times, “quit work early and then complained about their family.” Either way, what US television personality and interviewer Oprah Winfrey has managed to unravel within the two-hour broadcast, has and will continue to captivate the world.
Previously named Meghan Markle, but having married Prince Harry, and denouncing their royal titles, the couple now go by the name of Meghan and Harry Mountbatten-Windsor. Life as a member of the British royal family has been documented broadly over the centuries as incredibly difficult due to the sheer amount of publicity and curiosity that surrounds the titles, as well as any ‘duties’ that need to be dealt with as a royal. The interview, as reported by the New York Times features Meghan admitting that the life that she had previously chosen in marrying Harry “became so emotionally desolate that she contemplated suicide.”
Members of the royal family also reportedly told Harry and Meghan they did not want the couple’s then-unborn child, Archie, to be a prince or princess by title. Even worse, the family negatively concerned over how dark the colour of Archie’s skin would be. The interview hears Meghan speak of her suicidal thoughts in saying that she was “ashamed to have to admit it to Harry. I knew that if I didn’t say it, I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”
Meghan further revealed that she “went to the institution and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help, said I had never felt that way before and need to go somewhere, and I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.” In other words, her plea for help with ill mental health was denied, outright.
Tabloid narratives have, since the couple stepped away from royalty, somewhat shaped Meghan as a villain that apparently forced Harry away from his former life and ‘expected behaviour’ as a royal by birthright, however, the interview allowed Harry to expose his perspective directly. He said that he may not have stepped away from royal life if he had not met Meghan, but he also could not have done it without her. He “didn’t see a way out,” and “without question, she saved me.”
Harry, as well as his brother, Prince William the Duke of Cambridge, have according to Harry in the interview, “been through hell together” and are now on different paths, but Harry loved him to bits. With their mother Diana dying in a car crash on 31 August 1997, having struggled with royal life and the implications it set on her mental health herself, it is unsurprising that Harry wanted to opt out of a fate anywhere similar.
Oprah asked Harry about his relationship with his family since he did just that, to which he sadly responded that Charles, the Prince of Wales and his father, had in fact stopped taking his calls, and that “I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like and Archie’s his grandson. But at the same time, of course I will always love him but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.”
As reported by the BBC, Harry admitted that his family “literally cut me off financially.” He said the Netflix and Spotify deals that he and Meghan have struck to make shows and podcasts were never part of the plan but “I had to afford security for us” and continued to say, “I’ve got what my mum left me and without that we wouldn’t have been able to do this.”
Meghan also said that she “didn’t do any research” on the royal family, and when she first met the Queen was surprised that she was supposed to curtsy, she told Oprah that she thought it was just “part of the fanfare” and that it didn’t happen inside the Royal Family.
All in all, the interview holds many unheard truths behind what has for centuries remained hidden from the public, and it’s a direct reflection of how far society has come, and yet still how much further we need to go. For this case, it’s worth watching.
The interview has already aired in the US, and will be available to watch in the UK on 8 March between 9 p.m. and 10.50 p.m. (GMT) on ITV. The show will also be streamed at the same time on ITV Hub, and will be available to watch on demand (on ITV Hub) once the official broadcast has aired.