Here's Why Piers Morgan Just Lost His Job

His former co-host Susanna Reid called him unique: someone you either loved or hated. The Guardian compared him to Marmite, the yeast-based, smelly spread that people either love or hate. And it's that dichotomy, and his ability to bring up such strong feelings among members of his audience, that it seems the UK is feeling a bit bereft, now that Piers Morgan has left his job at ITV's Good Morning Britain.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Morgan received a record 41,000 complaints from viewers over his comments about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah Winfrey. In particular, viewers took issue with the controversial journalist's statement that he didn't believe Markle when she opened up about experiencing suicidal thoughts and being rebuffed when she asked for help. "Who did you go to? What did they say to you? I'm sorry, I don't believe a word she said, Meghan Markle," Morgan ranted. "I wouldn't believe it if she read me a weather report."

Piers Morgan is known to make controversial statements

Shortly after ITV's broadcasting regulator announced they planned to investigate Piers Morgan due to these harmful comments, Morgan made an official statement through the broadcast network that he would be leaving the show. "Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain. ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add," the network said in a brief statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Morgan is known for taking controversial stances, but publicly expressing doubt about Markle's admission appeared to be the final straw for viewers and the network. Given the stigma attached to mental illness, it's often difficult to open up about one's personal struggles — and hearing people express doubt about anyone's suicidal ideation can send a devastating message to others who are dealing with similar thoughts. As Good Morning Britain's weatherman, Alex Beresford, put it, according to the outlet, Morgan's diatribe was, "diabolical." 

Mind, a Britain-based mental health charity that has a partnership with ITV, tweeted a statement in response to Morgan's comments: "We were disappointed and concerned to see Piers Morgan's comments on not believing Meghan's experiences about suicidal thoughts today," it read. "It's vital that when people reach out for support or share their experiences of ill mental health that they are treated with dignity, respect, and empathy."

Piers Morgan and Meghan Markle have history

Piers Morgan and Meghan Markle have some history which might explain the mutual animosity. In 2018, he told an Irish talk show that the actress ghosted him after they met for drinks. Morgan recalls that they had a couple of drinks, and then he put her in a cab, and as a twist of fate he told the interviewer, "it turned out to be a cab that took her to a party where she met Prince Harry." Like a jilted lover, he went on, "And then the next night they had a solo dinner together, and that was the last I had ever heard from Meghan Markle. I have never heard from her again," Morgan said with a chuckle (via Twitter). 

It appears Meghan Markle might feel strongly about Piers Morgan too, because as The Daily Beast reports, she might have had a hand in his departure from ITV. Apparently, the duchess promptly filed a formal complaint to the network which airs his show. "[The complaint is] thought to have been sent to the broadcaster's CEO. Meghan raised concerns about how @piersmorgan's words affect the issue of mental health and what it might do to others contemplating suicide" ITV reporter Chris Ship tweeted.

Piers Morgan's comments may be harmful to those with mental illness

Meghan Markle was clearly not alone in her concerns. A number of people spoke out on social media explaining why Morgan's comments are so harmful to people dealing with mental illness and suicidal thoughts. "How can [Piers] say he doesn't believe Meghan was suicidal? She is literally the only person who can tell you whether or not that is true. This is the exact reason why people don't ask for help. It seems it takes someone to actually kill themselves to get any sympathy," one user tweeted.

Another wrote, "'I don't believe her.' This is Piers Morgan setting a dangerous precedent. He is not only saying he doesn't believe Meghan felt suicidal. He is minimising her feelings and indirectly minimising the feelings of everyone who has felt or is feeling like this."

But because as The Guardian coined, he's "Marmite," there are those that support the outspoken Morgan too. As one journalist for The Daily Mail tweeted: "I just bumped into @piersmorgan on my way into work. During our very brief conversation, he was stopped by one passer-by for a selfie, while a passing motorist shouted out of her window, 'We love you, Piers!'" Another supporter shared, "I was actually blocked by him but on this I totally agree with him .." And a third seemed to pitch an idea for Morgan's future career, writing, "Oh god he's going to be Prime Minister one day, isn't he?"

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.