U.K. media regulator Ofcom has launched an investigation after more than 41,000 people wrote in to complain about ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” host Piers Morgan’s comments on Meghan Markle.
On Monday’s edition of the show, Morgan said he did not believe Markle’s statement about mental health, which she made during her and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, which was broadcast in the U.S. Sunday evening.
Markle said that she had approached people in the Royal “institution” for help after she had suicidal thoughts, but was turned down.
“Who did you go to? What did they say to you? 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,” Morgan said on the show.
“We have launched an investigation into Monday’s episode of ‘Good Morning Britain’ under our harm and offence rules,” an Ofcom spokesperson told Variety. Ofcom had received 41,015 complaints about Morgan’s comments by 2 p.m. U.K. time on Tuesday.
Variety has reached out to ITV for comment on the Ofcom investigation.
There was high drama on the Tuesday edition of “Good Morning Britain” when Morgan stormed off the set in a huff during the live broadcast, after a verbal altercation with weatherman Alex Beresford who supported Markle.
He later returned to the show and said: “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 for the record on my position on mental illness and on suicide. These are clearly extremely serious things and should be taken extremely seriously and if someone is feeling that way they should get the treatment and the help they need every time. And if they belong to an institution like the Royal family and they go and seek that help they should absolutely be given it.”
“It’s not for me to question if she felt suicidal, I am not in her mind and that is for her to say,” he added. “My real concern was a disbelief frankly… that she went to a senior member of the Royal household and told them she was suicidal and was told she could not have any help because it would be a bad look for the family. If that is true a) that person should be fired and b) the Royal family have serious questions that need to be answered.”
ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said on Tuesday that she believed Markle completely and the broadcaster also issued a statement. “ITV is committed to mental health and wellbeing and working with our charity partners on ‘Britain Get Talking,’ which is about encouraging people to talk about their mental health,” the statement said. “It is very important that if anyone has suicidal thoughts that they should always speak out and be listened to.”
“Britain Get Talking” is an ITV mental wellness initiative.