ITV's Good Morning Britain warned by Ofcom over Piers Morgan comments

ITV has been handed a warning over Piers Morgan's "combative presenting" after Good Morning Britain avoided an Ofcom investigation.

The controversial television presenter was accused of 'mocking' the Chinese language during an episode in January.

Ofcom launched a preliminary investigation after receiving over 1,600 complaints from viewers, who considered the action was offensive and racist.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The broadcasting watchdog - which has the power to punish those who breach regulations - has decided not to pursue the complaints.

ITV were warned by Ofcom over comments made by Piers MorganITV were warned by Ofcom over comments made by Piers Morgan
ITV were warned by Ofcom over comments made by Piers Morgan

But it warned ITV: “There are compliance risks in relying on a ‘combative dynamic’ between presenters as a way to provide challenge and context for the broadcast of content which may cause offence.”

ITV had argued that Good Morning Britain has a “robust approach to discussing topical stories” based on its “combative dynamic” between hosts Morgan and Susanna Reid.

The broadcaster admitted Morgan’s imitation of a Chinese accent was “clumsy” and the use of the words “ching chang” had potential to cause offence.

Ofcom conceded that Reid made several immediate attempts to challenge Morgan when he imitated the Chinese language. Including telling him “Taking the mickey out of foreign languages is rather 1970… you can’t... Piers do you not realise the kind of woke times we’re living in?”

Morgan denied on Twitter that his actions were racist and ITV said in a statement it “regretted” any offence he may have caused.

In a statement, released on 3 March, ITV said: “These comments were intended to mock a member of the Royal Family and were not intended to mock or denigrate Chinese people, their language or accent.

“ITV regrets any offence Piers' comments may unintentionally have caused.”

A message from the Editor:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Frank O'Donnell

Editorial Director