Piers Morgan cuts off live interview after reporter brands him a ‘narcissist’

Row between the pair erupts over the fact Morgan interviewed a so-called 'gay cure therapist' 

Maya Oppenheim
Wednesday 06 September 2017 13:52
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Piers Morgan gets called narcissist, ends interview immediately

Piers Morgan abruptly terminated an interview live on Good Morning Britain after a journalist branded him a “narcissist”.

The controversial presenter, who is also editor-at-large of the US Mail Online, came under heavy criticism for interviewing a so-called “gay cure therapist” on the show on Tuesday.

Viewers argued ITV was irresponsible for giving Mr Michael Davidson, who identifies as “ex-gay” and “stopped practising” homosexuality when he realised it was “sinful behaviour”, a platform. Over 100 complaints were made to Ofcom before the interview even aired.

GMB invited Buzzfeed’s LGBT editor Patrick Strudwick on to the show a day later to address the furore and explain why he did not think Mr Davidson should have been granted a slot.

But the interview turned sour and Morgan became visibly annoyed before terminating the conversation on air.

Morgan said: “I do respect you, I think you do a lot of important work in this area. I just don’t agree with you.”

But Mr Strudwick hit back after things began to get tense, saying: “That’s because you’ve changed. You used to be a journalist and now you’re just a narcissist. You have gone from exposing people to just shouting at them and there is a big difference."

Morgan responded by muttering “alright mate”, and then saying: "Patrick, I tried to show you respect, you’ve shown none to me back, so we’re now going to end the interview. Good luck to you. I’m sorry you think that way.”

The presenter, who is famed for his deliberately controversial views, then claimed the journalist represented a new kind of liberalism that did not permit tolerant debate but Mr Strudwick interjected and inisisted he was keen on hearing opposing views but not in favour of listening to “dangerous techniques”. The journalist accused Morgan of failing to let him talk.

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Morgan, who won the Celebrity Apprentice back in 2008, challenged Mr Davidson over his assertion homosexuality is a “sin” and “a socially constructed construct” on air a day earlier.

"You know what we call these people?" he asked Davidson. "We call them horrible little bigots in the modern world. Bigoted people who talk complete claptrap and, in my view, a malevolent and dangerous part of our society. What's the matter with you? Stop talking for a moment. Stop banging on."

Conversion therapy, also called ‘cure’ therapy or reparative therapy, relates to any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to reduce or stop same-sex attraction or to suppress an individual’s gender identity. It is ultimately founded on the belief that being LGBT is a mental illness that can simply be "cured".

After the show was broadcast, LGBT equality charity Stonewall tweeted a statement saying: “No one should be told their identity is something that can be cured". The organisation included a link to its website for further details on the charity's position on the issue.

It noted the fact that all major UK counselling and psychotherapy bodies and the NHS have concluded "conversion therapy" is dangerous and have condemned it by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.

According to its 2015 Unhealthy Attitudes report, ten per cent of health and care staff witnessed colleagues expressing the belief that lesbian, gay and bi people can be “cured” of their sexual orientation.

A Stonewall spokesperson told The Independent: "Today Good Morning Britain hosted an interview focused on whether same-sex attraction can be cured. It is difficult to understand the motivation for exploring the topic of same-sex conversion now, when two years ago a host of professional bodies publicly condemned the practice.

"When they made this statement, the professional bodies also underlined the harm that can be done to individuals by suggesting that their same-sex attraction can, or should, be cured. Good Morning Britain's editoriual approach is damaging as it consistently suggests that there is a debate to be had about the validity of identities and experiences. At Stonewall we are fighting for acceptance and understanding of people's differences."

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