ITV was warned of Piers Morgan’s “combative presentation” after Good Morning Britain avoided an Ofcom investigation.
The regulator slapped the chain on the wrists in a report released today after Piers was accused of “making fun of the Chinese people”.
Although he decided not to pursue a full investigation, a spokesperson for Ofcom said: “We remind ITV that there are risks of non-compliance based on a” combative dynamic ” between presenters to provide a challenge and context for the dissemination of content that may cause offense.
“This approach can provide a meaningful context, as in this case.
“However, depending on the particular circumstances, this may not always provide sufficient context to comply with the code. “
The host of Piers was criticized on January 21 for imitating a Chinese accent while commenting on the announcement of Princess Anne’s son Peter Phillips for a Chinese milk brand.
Talking to the ad with co-host Susanna Reid, he said, “I like Peter Phillips. I met him over lunch last year, but it’s not a good look for the royal family.
“Whisk Chinese state milk – it’s a state dairy farm.
“The big question for Meghan and Harry in their brave new world where they think it’s going to be ethical and charming, but people are going to throw millions at them like Peter Phillips because he is royal.
“He’s a nice guy, he’s not an RHS – the problem is the others. All these actors are going to China to make these terrible advertisements, thinking that we will never see them, and Peter thinks the same thing. “
Piers continued, “Oh Peter for the love of God. That’s the problem – people want to partner with the royal family, they want to exploit them. He should whip the milk made here.
” What’s her name? Ching chong ching? “
Exasperated Susanna Reid said to her, “Getting Mickey out of foreign languages is more like the 1970s.”
In the Ofcom report, it is said that Susanna’s interventions “questioned the mimicry of the Chinese language by Piers Morgan and mitigated the potential offense.”
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After the incident, ITV issued a statement saying that Piers, 54, did not want to disparage, but “regretted” any offense caused after the 1,589 complaints.
Ofcom welcomed the apology and revealed that they had discussed the complaints with Piers.
The regulator said: “This is a finely balanced decision in which Ofcom had to carefully take into account the right to freedom of expression and the extent to which these comments could potentially offend, especially viewers of Chinese heritage. “