“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.” Morgan tweeted on Wednesday.
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Morgan’s remarks on ITV breakfast show “Good Morning Britain” attracted 57,121 complaints, according to statistics published by Ofcom on Wednesday. This breaks a longstanding record, from 2007, when participants Jade Goody (now deceased) and Danielle Lloyd’s remarks about Indian actor Shilpa Shetty on Channel 4’s “Celebrity Big Brother” drew 44,500 complaints.
Morgan’s remarks on “Good Morning Britain” stemmed from Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, where Markle said her suicidal feelings did not get much credence from Buckingham Palace. Morgan said, “I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she said, Meghan Markle. I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report.”
Ofcom launched an investigation into the episode of “Good Morning Britain,” following 41,000 complaints, a number that has since risen.
The presenter subsequently exited the show but stood by his comments.
Separately, the Oprah interview, which was broadcast March 8 on ITV, drew 4,398 complaints to Ofcom.
In 1992, decades before Ofcom began functioning in 2003, some 30,000 people complained about BBC’s “Ghostwatch,” in the belief that a death at the hands of a ghost depicted in the documentary-style show was real.
A 2018 episode of “Celebrity Big Brother,” now on U.K. broadcaster Channel 5, drew 25,327 over Housemate Roxanne Pallett alleging that fellow Housemate Ryan Thomas had “deliberately” and “repeatedly” physically assaulted her.
More recently, the Sept. 5, 2020 episode of “Britain’s Got Talent” on ITV, attracted 24,5001 complaints about dance group Diversity performing a routine that incorporated key elements of the Black Lives Matter movement. The complaints stated that the themes of violence and racism in the routine were inappropriate for family viewing, that it expressed support for the political organization Black Lives Matter, and that it was racist towards white people.
The Ofcom enquiry that followed concluded that the performance was “an artistic expression of topical social issues and did not contain any content which was racist, unsuitably violent or otherwise inappropriate.”
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