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Should casual racism be condoned?

January 23, 2020 9:51 AM

Piers Morgan on GMBOn 21 January 2020, ITV's Good Morning Britain aired a programme where co-presenter Piers Morgan mimicked and mocked Chinese speakers in a Chinese advertisement. This attracted more than 300 complaints to Ofcom within the first 24 hours.

Chinese Liberal Democrats sent this to Ofcom:

"Along with hundreds (or possibly thousands) of other people who had viewed the programme.. [we are] writing to complain about the racist language and attitude displayed by the presenter, Piers Morgan. Whilst he may defend himself by saying that he was merely trying to repeat the name of the product in Chinese when reviewing the Peter Philips Royal milk advertisement, it was clear for all to see that he was milking the opportunity to insult and mock the Chinese language and speakers of Chinese.

As a TV host we should hold him to a higher standard of behaviour than he has displayed. He should certainly not be allowed to normalise racist attitudes, racist behaviour and language, pretending to hide behind his so-called brand of boorish wit and humour.

As co-founder of Chinese Liberal Democrats and of the Liberal Democrat Campaign for Race Equality, I have been fighting on equality issues over the last 16 years. Racism may begin as mere jokes but reflects more deep seated prejudices and attitudes. It often leads to discrimination in the work place, to less than equal access to public services or treatment in the criminal justice service, or to unequal representation in public life.

It would be totally unacceptable should Mr Morgan not face any rebuke or discipline. Ultimately the producers of the programme, and senior personnel of ITV need to take responsibility too.

We await your response to our complaints."

Should broadcasters be held to a higher standard of behaviour and can casual racism be normalised or condoned?
Read the fuller story here and let us know what you think? (email info@chineselibdems.org.uk)