Piers Morgan: ‘Prince Harry is Meghan’s hostage’
Prince Harry is being held "hostage" by Meghan Markle, universities are clamping down on free speech and transgender women should not be allowed to play professional women's sport.
Internationally-known TV host Piers Morgan has taken aim at everyone and everything he claims is considered taboo in modern "woke" or politically correct society.
Speaking to News Corp Australia ahead of the release of his new book Wake Up, the former newspaper editor takes no prisoners.
However, he says his point is not to anger and inflame, despite what his critics claim, but rather to encourage debate.
"Democracy depends on it, no one debates any more. People are being de-platformed from speaking at universities, kids are not being encouraged to debate," he said.
The everywhere man of the British media, who has 7.6 million followers on Twitter, often leads debate in the UK - and is well-known in the US, where he hosted his own primetime show.
His comments on his brash show Good Morning Britain are turned into news stories, and he has even weighed into the response of the Australian government to the bushfires earlier this year.
The book follows a diary of his year, beginning with the pandemic, as he picks out what he calls are the examples of wokeness that anger people.
The self-described pantomime villain questions whether people are now too afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs, citing the backlash that Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling received after she questioned why people had exchanged the phrase "people who menstruate" for the word women in a Twitter pile on that went viral.
Morgan has been no stranger to headlines and often challenges politicians to come on his show to be held to account.
He bristles at suggestions that he is a bully; rather, he says, he calls things out as he sees them.
He was stinging about Meghan Markle after their friendship went sour.
"I was giving her media advice and another member of the cast of Suits and she asked if she could come and have a drink with me at my local pub and we met up and we had a really good time and I thought she was really nice actually," he said.
"And then I literally put her in a cab to a dinner that she was going to and she met Harry at that dinner and I never heard from her again. I thought that was quite rude."
He now says that Prince Harry is her "hostage" in America.
"The endless videos where he sits or stands by her side looking slightly vacant eyed remind me of hostage videos each time they appear - she does most of the talking and he's like a nodding puppet," he said.
"It's almost like she's got some robotic mechanism which makes his mouth move but the whole thing is just very sad."
The late Princess Diana, who he said was a friend, would hate what has happened, he added.
And while the "vocal minority", as he describes the Twitter audience that also fuels his fame, may believe he was right-wing, he's been one of the fiercest critics of Donald Trump.
He wrote a piece in April titled: "Shut the F*** Up, President Trump" after the US leader's comments that disinfectant may cure coronavirus.
Trump, he said, was also a friend, and they stayed in touch through his office after the column, even though the President unfollowed him on Twitter.
However he points out that Mr Trump's critics give him no credit that he has not started a war during his presidency, and that his assassination strike against Iran's military general Qasem Soleimani, did not lead to a catastrophic fight with the Middle Eastern country.
"Everyone joins a tribe and decides that everything that Trump does is either brilliant or terrible; there's no middle ground, even when he doesn't go to war in four years which is a staggering statistic which he gets no credit for," he said.
"He got no credit from the liberals for taking out the leader of ISIS because their blind hatred as the tribe that hates Trump overrides anything else."
Morgan said that people should be able to change their minds, and when asked, reflected on a front page he ran at the Daily Mirror in 1996, using provocative wartime imagery, when England was playing Germany in the World Cup.
The paper received more than 1000 complaints, and he changed tack.
"It was a moment of everyone waking up, you know what we're kind of done with this stuff, we don't want tabloids to be xenophobic or jingoistic about this kind of thing anymore, it was a learning curve for me, a very sharp one.
"I'm glad that as a country that we rejected that kind of humour, which is the right thing to do.
"From time to time there is a strength in admitting you're wrong about something."
Originally published as Piers Morgan: 'Prince Harry is Meghan's hostage'