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Monday 1st June 2020

Good Morning Britain slapped with Ofcom warning over Piers Morgan's 'combative' behaviour

They are not investigating him any further over complaints he mocked the Chinese language

Piers Morgan and Good Morning Britain have been given a slap on the wrist by broadcasting regulator Ofcom over an incident in which Piers appeared to mock to the Chinese language.

He made the comments on January 21, 2020, and viewers called for him to lose his role.

There were also over 1600 complaints to Ofcom and the official body has now made their decision.

A report issued by the regulator has revealed they are not going to investigate further. However they have given the channel a reminder over conduct.

Good Morning Britain anchor Piers Morgan is often challenged by co-host Susanna Reid  (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Piers Morgan slams 'complete moron' breaking social distancing rules live on air

Ofcom issues warning to Piers Morgan and ITV

It stated: "We remind ITV that 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.

"This approach can provide significant context, as in this case.

"However, depending on the particular circumstances, this may not always provide sufficient context to comply with the Code."

ITV had originally argued that viewers expected Piers to have "strongly held viewers" which he "expresses uncompromisingly".

Piers may have unintentionally caused upset (Credit: ITV)

We remind ITV that there are compliance risks in relying on a 'combative dynamic' between

presenters.

Ofcom also noted that in this instance co-host Susanna Reid interjected with several challenges to Piers' offensive language.

Piers and Susanna had been discussing the Queen's grandson, Peter Phillips, advertising milk on Chinese television when the incident happened. As he made the comments that appeared to mock the language, Susanna immediately cut him off. She said: "Taking the Mickey out of foreign languages is rather 1970s."

Read more: 17 Piers Morgan tweets we all agree with

Piers later tweeted in his own defence: "I was mocking a member of the British royal family appearing in an advert for Chinese state milk, not Chinese people."

However, ITV did admit his remarks had been "clumsy" and the words he used had potential to cause offence in this instance.

ITV defends Piers Morgan

A statement from ITV at the time said: "GMB is known for its lively and robust discussion of the news agenda and recently covered Peter Phillips' appearance in a Chinese milk advertisement.

The Queen's grandson Peter Phillips was the subject of the mockery (Credit: SplashNews.com)

"The discussion was focused on whether it was appropriate for members of the Royal family to endorse products abroad in this manner, and was live and unscripted.

"Piers Morgan's comments, and his mimicking of the Chinese language in the advertisement, was a spontaneous reaction to the advertisement.

"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."

The Ofcom report also revealed the channel had discussed the incident with Piers to reduce the liklihood of a recurrence.

More controversy

Carol took Piers' comments in good humour (Credit: ITV)

Piers recently sparked more Ofcom complaints during an interview with Carol Vorderman.

He cheekily asked the maths whizz to dress up as a teacher when she was discussing her plan to educate school kids during lockdown.

Although Carol took the comments in good humour, many viewers did not.

Piers has also received complaints over his general behaviour recently, including over his approach to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Ofcom are assessing the complaints, but haven't decided whether to investigate further.

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