Should He Stay or Should He Go? Should Piers Morgan be Given a Platform?

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Twitter has been divided on the issue of Piers Morgan being given a platform to voice his controversial views on national television. Morgan has always been known for causing controversy and is frequently criticised for his journalism on popular TV breakfast show Good Morning Britain, often berating and mocking those who have views or opinions that differ from his own. This has especially been highlighted recently as he has come under a lot of criticism for his views on gender.

But should Piers Morgan be allowed a platform to voice his views in the first place? With ITV recently launching a new campaign stressing the importance of openly talking about mental health in today’s society, many argue that by giving Morgan a platform, they are contradicting what they are trying to preach.

Previously, Morgan caused outrage after he mocked Greta Thunberg in a mimic-toned accent, amidst slating climate change activist group Extinction Rebellion. The 16-year-old Swedish activist had delivered a powerful speech at the UN Climate Action Summit, in which Morgan mocked in a Swedish accent saying: “How dare you. You have stolen my morning. You have stolen my airtime. I have no life. How dare you.” Although he is known for not holding back on matters he doesn’t agree with, many viewers of the show were appalled by Morgan’s actions, arguing this time he had gone too far by bullying a young girl. 

And again, Morgan causes even more controversy after he delivered yet another rant, this time on sexuality and gender identification. He now claims he identifies as a penguin, mocking those who choose to identify as non-binary, or anything other than male or female, which Morgan deems to be the only genders.  

Despite what he may argue, Morgan clearly doesn’t identify as a penguin. If he doesn’t agree with the variations of gender, then he is entitled to voice his own opinion without risk of criticism. However, mocking and belittling people or topics he doesn’t agree with and branding everyone who takes offence as ‘snowflakes’ shouldn’t be allowed by a British television channel who now stress the importance of mental health and open discussions between people. Mocking 16-year-olds with Asperger’s and making fun of groups which are already oppressed on live television to millions of viewers, isn’t an opinion, but bullying, and reduces discussions on important issues to a mere joke.  

With #FirePiers trending at number one on Twitter, and an online petition gaining over 25,000 signatures to remove the host from presenting the popular breakfast show, it seems many want to prevent Piers from having a platform or at least for ITV to recognise his behaviour as wrong and to reprimand some of his actions. As a major broadcasting corporation with a national audience, ITV is failing to support their own mental health campaign by using one of their highest-performing programmes to spread intolerance and negativity inadvertently. Morgan’s actions have surpassed the threshold of what ITV deems to be comments made in humour and jest; perhaps it is time they consider his removal. 

Image credit: Ken McKay/ITV/REX

Joely Kiggins