Piers Morgan: ITV ‘rule out investigation’ after open letter accusing host of ‘bullying’
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Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan yesterday addressed an open letter by a group of TV freelancers and executives, who publicly denounced all forms of “bullying” after his Twitter spat with a former employee Adeel Amini. The TV producer previously worked on Piers’ show Life Stories and said he had no plans of working with the ITV presenter again.
According to reports, ITV chiefs Kevin Lygo and Carolyn McCall made it clear that there is no room for bullying at the network and additionally said they have no control over their freelance worker’s social media output.
The network is said to have spoken with both parties and “no internal investigation” is to be conducted.
The statement read: “ITV takes any allegations of bullying and harassment in the workplace very seriously indeed, and we are clear there is absolutely no place for it in ITV.
“We have an independent whistleblowing helpline which we communicate through our induction process and which we monitor on an on-going basis, in addition to our internal grievance procedures channels, which are open to both permanent members of staff and freelancers.
“Our firm understanding is that in this instance, the tweet in question was not accusing Piers of bullying and harassment whilst working on Life Stories.
“Having spoken to both parties, therefore no internal investigation,” they told Metro.co.uk.
In addition, the corporation explained that Piers is “known for engaging in heated exchanges, when criticism is levelled against him”.
They further explained: “In terms of the separate issue of social media exchanges, we understand some producers wish to express their views on their personal platforms, and we also think it is widely understood that Piers is a prolific and long-standing user of social media where he is well known for engaging in robust, heated exchanges, when criticism is levelled against him.
“However, Twitter accounts and the decision to comment on each other are their personal choices. Piers is a freelance presenter and we do not control his output on social media, or the other media platforms he writes for.”
The statement concluded: “To reiterate, we are clear there is no room for bullying at ITV and it is not tolerated.
“We are supportive and engaged members of Coalition for Change, and we will continue to work productively with colleagues across the industry.”
Lygo and McCall’s statement comes after an open letter was organised by an anonymous group of freelancers.
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The message, which was addressed to ITV executives, read: “Like many within our industry, we have been appalled by the online conduct of Piers Morgan in directing targeted abuse towards a freelancer.
“Morgan, with 7.7 million Twitter followers,” they wrote, had “targeted and tagged a former staff-member in derogatory posts”.
They continued: “As freelancers working within television, we feel a responsibility to speak out against bullying and harassment wherever we see it, including from on screen personalities who are all too often poorly reprimanded for unacceptable behaviour and abusive conduct.
“Last year, conversations facilitated by The TV Mindset and other organisations, including The Coalition for Change, BECTU and the Edinburgh Television Festival, reiterated the need to eradicate the widespread issue of bullying and harassment.”
It concluded: “In particular, the abuses of on-screen talent are all too often overlooked, at the expense of the dignity, health and safety of the freelancers they target.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Piers Morgan and ITV representatives for comment.
The Twitter row began after Adeel said he had no plans to work with Piers again.
After spotting the tweet, the GMB presenter responded and told Adeel he would “no longer have to worry getting any job offers from me”.
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