Piers Morgan was blasted by a co-host on "Good Morning Britain" on Tuesday for his behavior towards Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, prompting the former CNN anchor to briefly walk off the set of the ITV show.
The incident followed Oprah Winfrey's explosive interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, which aired in the United Kingdom on Monday night. In the interview, Meghan opened up about having suicidal thoughts and said a member of the royal family had raised concerns about how dark her baby's skin would be.
Morgan, who has previously accused Meghan of tearing Harry away from the royal family, hit out at the interview after it was first broadcast Sunday in the United States. He said on Twitter on Monday that it was "just another reminder that anyone who criticizes Meghan Markle is deemed a racist bully."
He also questioned whether she was being truthful about having suicidal thoughts, comments he has since tried to walk back. "I understand that you [Morgan] don't like Meghan Markle, you've made it so clear a number of times on this program," said "Good Morning Britain" co-host Alex Beresford. "And I understand that you've got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle, or had one and she cut you off," he added.
"Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don't think she has, but yet you continue to trash her," Beresford said.
At that point, Morgan got up and, while walking off the set, said, "Okay, I'm done with this, sorry, no, sorry... see you later, sorry, can't do this."
Beresford went on to describe the former tabloid newspaper editor's behavior as "absolutely diabolical." Following an ad break and a news segment, Morgan returned to the set and continued the discussion.
Meghan and Harry have had a fraught relationship with parts of the British press and have sued several newspapers, singling out the tabloids for waging a "ruthless campaign" against them
"Yes they had some great press around the wedding, but there was bad press around the engagement, before the engagement and everything that has followed since has been incredibly damaging quite clearly to Meghan's mental health and also to Harry," Beresford said, before Morgan walked off set.
Some press coverage has played on racist stereotypes, which led 72 female members of the UK parliament to write a letter to the Duchess in 2019 expressing solidarity with her in the face of the "outdated, colonial undertones" of some media stories.
Critics say that the media's treatment of Meghan, which contrasts starkly with the positive coverage given to her sister-in-law Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is at least partly explained by a lack of newsroom diversity.
Just 6% of journalists across UK newsrooms don't identify as White, compared with about 13% of the general population, according to a 2016 report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The same study found that while Black Britons make up 3% of the population, they account for just 0.2% of journalists.