Piers Morgan furious after racist claim on live TV (2024)

Piers Morgan denied claims he is racist after presidential candidate Cornel West labeled him one during a fiery TV debate.

The British pundit debated the U.S. independent presidential candidate and other experts during a segment about the Israel-Hamas war on his Piers Morgan Uncensored show on Talk TV.

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The conflict began in October 2023 after the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an attack on Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking over 200 hostages. In the ensuing months of war, more than 34,500 people have died in Gaza and about 80 percent of the population has been displaced, according to the latest figures from the Associated Press.

Morgan and his guests were talking about the pro-Palestinian protests at college campuses around the United States which have led to hundreds of arrests. Morgan spoke about Jewish students at the colleges who had allegedly been harassed by the protesters.

"All you wanna talk about is the Jewish students," West told Morgan, insisting he should focus on Israel's actions in Gaza and the humanitarian crisis it has caused. "Then, in fact, you become an extension of propaganda, and that's why I call you a racist because it means then that Palestinian lives do not have the same value as an Israeli life."

Morgan snapped, "How dare you?" to West, refuting his accusations of racism.

"How dare you call me a racist. What you don't know is before I did this debate, I did a long interview with one of the IDF spokesmen in which I went after him about their planned invasion of Rafah because I think it would be a catastrophic mistake. So don't call me a racist," Morgan said.

Following another heated exchange, Morgan said, "I believe Palestinian lives matter just as much as any other life and I've always said that," to which West replied, "Does not manifest in your framing, brother. Does not manifest in your framing."

Morgan added, "Don't throw around the word 'racist' without any evidence to support the fact that I'm a racist."

"I've been hearing the evidence," West told him. "It's not throwing around. It's the reality."

Piers Morgan furious after racist claim on live TV (1)

Morgan was formerly a host on TV breakfast show Good Morning Britain until he dramatically walked off-air during a live segment in 2021 where one of his co-presenters accused him of being racist over his views on Megan Markle.

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He has openly shared his views on Israel's military attacks on Gaza online.

"The oppression of Palestinian people has been totally unacceptable, and peace will never be possible until they are afforded freedom & equality. But it should be possible to believe that, and to condemn the horrifying terror attacks on Israel on Oct 7," he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, almost three weeks after Hamas' attack.

His coverage of the war has proved divisive, though.

"The person covering Palestine-Israel best is ... Piers Morgan?" asked Aymann Ismail in a column for Slate.

"Morgan's approach seems simple enough: have on the program as many people from as wide an array of opinions as possible, and let them make their case to him on the air," wrote Ismail. "He gives each guest a considerable amount of airtime too, some stretching beyond 30 minutes—which may not sound like a lot until you compare it to other segments on broadcast news, which rarely surpass a few minutes before moving on."

Ismail continued: "At a time when social media bubbles often exacerbate polarization and misinformation, Morgan's seemingly sincere commitment to fostering meaningful dialogue stands out."

But Mohamad Elmasry, a professor of Media Studies at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies does not agree.

"The British talk show host deserves credit for featuring pro-Palestinian voices, but interview successes are owed mostly to the talent of his guests refuting his Israeli talking points," he wrote for the Middle East Eye in November.

"It is probably true that he has given more space for Palestine supporters than anyone else in mainstream western media," Elmasry wrote, but "Morgan has not been nearly as balanced or fair as he implies, however."

Elmasry argued that Morgan seemed more likely to push back on pro-Palestinian guests while giving "softball" questions to those who were pro-Israeli.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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Piers Morgan furious after racist claim on live TV (2024)
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