Hold on. In Britain in 2021 you can lose your job for criticising a member of the royal family? That appears to be the lesson of Piers Morgan’s parting of the ways with ITV. Morgan, morning TV’s biggest name, is out after 41,000 people complained to Ofcom about his recent comments on Meghan Markle. It’s official: diss this duchess and you will suffer.
What century is this? I thought we had moved beyond all that medieval nonsense about treason and hounding people out of polite society if they blaspheme against royalty? Seems not. Morgan is famous for not being a fan of Ms Markle. But this week he apparently went ‘too far’ – who are these mysterious people who get to decide what is ‘too far’? – when he said he didn’t ‘believe a word’ of what Markle said to Oprah.
On his show Good Morning Britain they aired a clip of Meghan saying she was depressed and even suicidal when cooped up in Kensington Palace. In response Morgan said: ‘I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she says. I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report.’ Cue meltdown among the Twitterati, the scalp-hungry cancel-culture mob and mental-health charities, all of whom wailed about Morgan disrespecting a suffering woman’s ‘truth’ as if he had just punched a statue of the Virgin Mary in 1930s Ireland.
Thousands of people grassed on Morgan to Ofcom. He then had an on-air falling-out with his black co-presenter, Alex Beresford, who accused Morgan of ‘trashing’ Markle. Which, as we now know, is sacrilege. Morgan flounced off set. And now ITV has said that, ‘following discussions’ – never a good sign – Morgan has decided to leave GMB. People suspect he was at least partly pushed out. It seems that way. Time will tell.
But what is indisputable is that a weird, unsettling and censorious atmosphere of religiosity now surrounds the Duchess of Sussex. The cultural elites have beatified her. They’ve made her the patron saint of critical race theory, the goddess of wokeness. To venture a criticism of this high priestess of correct thought is to risk cancellation. Questioning her ‘truth’ is to 2021 what questioning the truth of the Bible was to 1521. Okay, you won’t lose your head, but you might lose your job.