Mental health charity Mind has stressed that Piers Morgan’s remarks about Meghan Markle have still been deemed ‘potentially harmful and offensive’ despite Ofcom ruling that he was entitled to share his opinion on Good Morning Britain.
In March this year, Piers quit GMB as thousands complained about the broadcaster saying live on air that he ‘didn’t believe’ the Duchess of Sussex’s claim that she experienced suicidal thoughts, a statement she made during her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
On Wednesday Ofcom ruled that Piers was entitled to share his opinion on Meghan’s comments, with the journalist describing the announcement as ‘a resounding victory for free speech’ after Meghan and Prince Harry filed a complaint with the watchdog.
In the 97-page ruling, the broadcasting regulator said that while Piers’ comments were ‘potentially harmful and offensive’, Good Morning Britain did not breach the broadcasting code.
In a statement released by Mind, a mental health charity which previously called out Piers’ remarks about Meghan, the organisation emphasised the need to ‘reduce mental health stigma and discrimination in the media and in society as a whole’.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said in the statement: ‘Today’s ruling by Ofcom found that, although Good Morning Britain was not in breach of its broadcasting rules, Piers Morgan’s comments during the programme were potentially harmful and offensive to viewers.
‘Ofcom’s ruling also stated the need for broadcasters to take particular care over how mental health as a subject is presented to audiences, so as ‘not to convey a message that sharing experiences of poor mental health could be met with disbelief, derision, or a lack of sympathy’.
Paul outlined that research conducted by Mind demonstrates how when people reach out for support for mental health issues or share their experiences, it is important that they ‘are treated with respect and empathy’.
‘We found that a quarter of people said hearing a celebrity talk openly about their own mental health had inspired them to seek help. More than one in three said seeing celebrity mental health stories had prompted them to start a conversation with a friend or loved one about mental health,’ he said.
Paul stated that frequently, people who are suffering with mental health problems don’t receive the ‘help and support they need and deserve’ due to ‘feelings of shame and isolation’.
‘We all still have a role to play to reduce mental health stigma and discrimination in the media and in society as a whole,’ he added.
After finding out Ofcom’s ruling, Piers asked: ‘Do I get my job back?’ in response.
He tweeted: ‘I’m delighted OFCOM has endorsed my right to disbelieve the Duke & Duchess of Sussex’s incendiary claims to Oprah Winfrey, many of which have proven to be untrue.
‘This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios. Do I get my job back?’
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