Good Morning Britain has received more than 800 Ofcom complaints after presenter Piers Morgan offensively mimicked Mandarin.
At the time of writing, broadcasting regulator Ofcom confirmed that a total of 841 complaints have been made in relation to the moment, which happened live on Tuesday morning's episode (January 21) of the ITV show.
Morgan and Susanna Reid were discussing Peter Phillips, the Queen's grandson, featuring and speaking Mandarin in a milk advert in China.
Morgan made several random noises while stereotyping and mockingly imitating the foreign language, complete with an exaggerated and racist accent. He doubled down on this when Reid pointed out how offensive he was being.
"I only drink [unintelligible noises] milk," Morgan said, before mimicking a second time when the Chinese advert was being played again.
"Taking the mickey out of a foreign languages is rather 1970," Reid said.
Morgan imitated Chinese a third time, adding: "Well, that's what they're saying in the advert."
"No, they're speaking Chinese," Reid replied, to which Morgan said: "I can't repeat what they're saying in the ad."
Labour MP and Chinese for Labour chair Sarah Owen, who is British Chinese, was one of many people who condemned Morgan on social media. Her comments came after Chinese for Labour received online racist abuse on Wednesday as the party-affiliated group made their nominations for Labour's leadership and deputy leadership contests.
Can’t believe I’m having to write this, cos this is basic...There are over a million Chinese, East Asians and those of mixed heritage like myself living in the UK and we are not responsible for the actions of the Chinese Govt, nor are we spies or a takeaway. 1/3 #chineseforlabour— Sarah Owen MP (@SarahOwen_) January 22, 2020
Responding to the criticism, Morgan said on Twitter: "I was mocking a member of the British royal family appearing in an advert for Chinese state milk, not Chinese people."
Meanwhile, Ofcom said in a statement: "We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate."
Tuesday's episode of Good Morning Britain has also been taken down from ITV Hub.
"This episode has been removed but for a totally unrelated reason," an ITV spokesperson said.
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