Piers Morgan was forced out of his TV presenter job after a complaint by Meghan Markle—but is now using a New York Post column to attack her in America. The former Good Morning Britain host left his high profile role at ITV after explosive on-air exchanges following Meghan and Prince Harry’s Oprah Winfrey interview in March 2021.
The Duchess of Sussex lodged a formal complaint and Morgan was asked to apologize. However, he refused, choosing to catapult his career into an uncertain future rather than back down. At the time, his departure from the prime time breakfast show appeared to be a major victory for Markle against a critic with a seven-figure audience whose outbursts against her regularly triggered headlines in other news outlets.
A little under a year later and he has new gigs, including as a columnist for the New York Post in America and The Sun, in Britain. The two Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloids give him a platform on both sides of the Atlantic which he has used to renew his allegations against the duchess.
His latest offering, published on January 31, accused the couple of hypocrisy for denouncing Joe Rogan’s Spotify podcast on grounds of COVID-19 misinformation. Morgan wrote: “In a new low, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have demanded the Swedish streaming platform—which paid them $25 million last year to do their own podcast—do something about Rogan’s ‘rampant misinformation.’ Sorry, WHAT?
“A pair of two-bit minor British royal family renegades best known for spewing outrageously harmful misinformation to Oprah Winfrey are trying to suppress an American’s First Amendment right to free speech? “I wouldn’t trust Meghan ‘Princess Pinocchio’ Markle—who last year pressured U.K. company ITV to fire me for calling out her lies—to make me a cup of tea, let alone preach to the world about truth and honesty.”
While the Sussexes may live in California, they officially visited New York twice in 2021—their only official trips out of state as a couple—showing the city is a key demographic for them. Meghan and Harry told the world they had to leave Britain to escape a toxic, racist media determined to bring them down.
However, since moving to California they have several times drawn fierce criticism from the Republican right in America. The backlash against Rogan is one of those episodes, earning criticism from the likes of Candace Owens, while previous disputes have triggered comments from Donald Trump and Sean Hannity.
If a market develops in America for negative takes on the Sussexes it threatens not only their enjoyment of their new Californian lives but also a key plank of their account of what happened to them in Britain. In a 2019 interview, Meghan told ITV she did not see the U.K. media frenzy coming prior to the announcement of her relationship with Harry.
She told documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey: “My British friends said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great, but you shouldn’t do it, because the British tabloids will destroy your life.’ “And I very naively…we’re American, we don’t have that there, ‘What are you talking about? That doesn’t make any sense. I’m not in tabloids!’ I didn’t get it.”
Prince Harry also linked their decision to quit royal duties to British newspapers in an interview with James Corden in February 2021. He said: “We all know what the British press can be like, and it was destroying my mental health.”
He then told Oprah Winfrey in March 2021: “I asked for calm from the British tabloids—once as a boyfriend, once as a husband and once as a father.” Negative commentary from the American right has not been as frequent as the tabloid stories in Britain but some of it has been at least as hostile, if not more so. Sean Hannity told Prince Harry “it’s time for you to move” after the duke described the First Amendment as “bonkers” during an appearance on the Armchair Expert podcast.
Hannity said: “This is the same First Amendment that allowed you and your wife to trash your own family.” And Raymond Arroyo mocked Harry’s use of experimental EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy) in a Fox News segment with Laura Ingraham.
Harry’s The Me You Can’t See Apple TV documentary showed him attempting to process past trauma using physical movements, tapping each shoulder with his arms crossed over his chest. Arroyo compared the movements to the Wakanda salute from Black Panther and the dance from 90s pop song “Macarena.”
He said: “Now apparently this therapy has been around for a while, it was popularized in the country Wakanda and notably in the 1990s.” The segment then cut to footage of people doing the dance while the Macarena played, interspersed with Maxine Waters doing a Wakanda salute at Aretha Franklin’s funeral in August 2018.
Arroyo said: “I’m all for mental health and people seeking help if they need it but this is gratuitous over sharing that trades on his title and blames the royal family and everyone else for all of his problems.”
And the condemnation reached as high as the White House when Donald Trump said in September 2020: “I’m not a fan of hers. I would say this—and she probably has heard that—I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he’s going to need it.”
For now, however, the return of Piers Morgan to the mainstream media in the U.S. is the immediate problem and it is yet to be seen whether his persistent criticism finds as big an audience in America as it found in Britain.
Morgan wrote of Rogan in his New York Post column: “If the choice of whom to listen to in America is a curious, smart man who listens to myriad views to get to the truth, or a pair of fork-tongued, woke wastrels whose only currency is trashing the royal institution that gave them their titles to exploit for vast financial gain, give me the former anytime.
“Spotify should do us all a favor by tearing up Meghan and Harry’s contract and giving their money to Joe Rogan for more of his shows.”