ITV CEO Carolyn McCall has said that the UK broadcaster will hold talks with Piers Morgan after the Good Morning Britain presenter said live on-air that he did not believe Meghan Markle had suicidal thoughts.
McCall was asked about Morgan’s behavior several times during a media call for ITV’s 2020 earnings today, and the former EasyJet boss suggested that executives will raise questions about his comments, which have been criticized by a mental health charity.
She has not spoken to Morgan personally, but said Kevin Lygo, ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment, is “dealing with that as we speak.” She would not comment on whether ITV will support or punish Morgan.
Asked if she believes Markle was being genuine about her mental health in an interview with Oprah Winfrey (which was shown on ITV on Monday nigth), McCall said: “I completely believe her when she says that and, importantly, everyone should.”
She added: “The most important thing with mental health that ITV does and is totally committed to, is that we support, we get people to speak up, we listen, we say everyone has to listen and everyone has to believe because that’s how you get people to speak up. So we are very committed to that.”
The intervention from mental health charity Mind is particularly notable because it is a supporter of ITV’s mental health campaign, Get Britain Talking. Asked if Morgan can say and Tweet what he likes, even if it brings ITV pledges into disrepute, McCall said Morgan qualified his remarks on air this morning.
Morgan said: “When we talked about this yesterday, I said an all-encompassing thing I still don’t believe what Megham Markle says generally in this interview and I have serious concerns about the veracity of a lot of what she said. But let me just state my position on mental illness and on suicide.
“On mental illness and 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 that they need every time. Every time. And if they belong to an institution like the royal family they should seek that help and 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.”
The former CNN anchor also stormed off set live on-air after being taken to task by co-star Alex Beresford over remarks he made about Markle. Calling out Morgan’s “diabolical behavior,” Beresford said: “I’m sorry, but Piers spouts off on a regular basis and we all have to sit there and listen. Six-thirty to seven o’clock yesterday was incredibly hard to watch. Incredibly hard to watch… He has the ability to come in here and talk from a position where he doesn’t fully understand.”
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