Just days after his online feud with author JK Rowling made headlines worldwide, Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan has pulled out of hosting the upcoming Royal Television Society Programme Awards.
Morgan cited the online opprobrium that had greeted the news of his hosting earlier this week as the reason behind his decision, writing on his Facebook page that he had “no wish to serve as an unnecessary distraction”.
“I was recently invited to host the Royal Television Society Programme Awards,” Morgan said in a statement. “As someone who has worked in British and American television for most of this Millennium, on a variety of shows, I thought it might be fun and agreed to do it without any fee.”
“After my role was announced, a campaign was started to have me banned. It suggested that I lack the ‘creative excellence’ criteria required for presenting such an event and therefore my presence would be ‘damaging’ and ‘inappropriate.’
“Further, I have ‘failed to understand a social movement that values equality and diversity of voice. Apparently, this movement does not extend to tolerating my own diverse voice.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 19, 2017
“I have no wish to serve as an unnecessary distraction from award winners whose hard work and skill should be celebrated without any of the silly noise this campaign has generated.
“So, I am now withdrawing from hosting the evening. Good luck to everyone who has been nominated.”
Morgan’s withdrawal from the RTS programme awards follows months of online clashes involving the former Daily Mirror editor, with his support for US President Donald Trump and criticism of left-wing causes like the Women’s March drawing fire from certain celebrities and members of the public alike.
Aside from Rowling he has also recently criticised the likes of Graham Norton, Jon Snow and Ewan McGregor, with the latter refusing to come on Good Morning Britain following Morgan’s remarks about the Women’s March some days earlier.
Still, through it all he definitely has his supporters, including GMB co-host Susanna Reid who took to Twitter to defend Morgan after he announced his withdrawal from the RTS ceremony earlier tonight.
— Susanna Reid (@susannareid100) February 19, 2017
Oh well – on the bright side, Morgan now has a free night to catch up on some of the Harry Potter books. So it’s not all bad.
The Royal Television Society Programme Awards will take place on Tuesday 21st March