A senior executive at British broadcaster ITV has spoken to presenter Piers Morgan about his criticism of Meghan, the wife of Prince Harry, which had become more vociferous in the wake of her recent interview.
Morgan, a former CNN presenter, has long criticized the couple, saying they have damaged the royal family and sought publicity on their own terms without accepting the responsibility and scrutiny that come with the job.
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ITV broadcast Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan and Harry on Monday evening in which they revealed the depth of her unhappiness within the royal family.
It attracted more than half of the audience watching live TV at that time, with a peak of 12.4 million viewers, ITV said.
ITV Chief Executive Carolyn McCall told reporters she had not spoken to Morgan, but that Kevin Lygo, managing director media and entertainment, had. Morgan is an anchor on its breakfast show Good Morning Britain.
“I know Kevin Lygo is speaking to him on a regular basis and has done so in the last couple of days,” she said.
Morgan has cast doubt on Meghan’s comments in the interview. When his co-presenter noted that Meghan had said she’d been driven to the verge of taking her own life, Morgan replied: “She says that, yes.”
McCall, who was presenting ITV’s full-year results, said Morgan had “qualified” his earlier comments.
Morgan said on Tuesday: “I still have serious concerns about the veracity of a lot of what she said, but let me just state for the record about my position on mental illness and on suicide.
“They should be taken extremely seriously and if someone is feeling that way they should get the treatment and help that they need every time, and if they belong to an institution like the royal family and they go and seek that help they should absolutely be given it,” he said.
McCall said Morgan was a freelance presenter and ITV had no control over his Twitter account, which has 7.7 million followers.
“He’s got personal profile on Twitter, it’s his personal account,” she said. “If it was about our shows, that would be different.”
She said she personally believed Meghan, and ITV was committed to supporting mental health. “ITV has many voices and we try and represent many voices on ITV every day,” she said. “It’s not about one opinion.”
ITV reportedly paid 1 million pounds to broadcast the interview, which was shown in the United States on Sunday.
McCall said ITV always followed the big news events and said there had been strong demand for ad slots, adding that the broadcaster would re-use the content in other programs to maximize the value of the rights.
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