Piers Morgan (L) debated with journalist Benjamin Butterworth on whether the Good Morning Britain should should be sacked for his anti-trans comments. (Screen capture via ITV)
Piers Morgan was sufficiently riled up today on Good Morning Britain after viewers resoundingly called for him to be fired following his crusade against trans and non-binary people.
A petition calling on the TV personality to be shelved for “dehumanising” trans people and reducing LGBT+ people and causes to a “mere joke” has tallied more than 17,000 signatures.
Morgan furiously hit back in a tweet clarifying that he supports “those who transition” but does not support “the ridiculous notion of 100 genders”.
Yesterday, GMB conducted their own poll on the show’s Twitter account, becoming one of the biggest polls in the show’s history, which saw Twitter users show up in troves to call for Morgan to be ditched.
He claimed the poll had been “hijacked” by “snowflakes” and vastly shrugged off the results.
But Morgan heated up as he debated whether he should be fired in a slot today where he tore into non-binary and genderfluid folk. Saying their existence is “ridiculous” as well as “dangerous”.
‘Should Piers stay or should he go?’ was a question that dominated the morning talkshow after 59 percent voted for the show to sack him.
This queued in a 16 minute slot where Morgan and Reid were joined by gay journalist Benjamin Butterworth and trans journalist India Willoughby to discuss the “notion of 100 genders”.
Butterworth had signed the petition calling for Morgan’s removal. He said: “The way Piers talks about trans people and specifically non-binary people is that you mock them.
‘Being a penguin isn’t a gender… There are people who are trans or non-binary and it can do real damage.’@benjaminbutter believes @piersmorgan should be fired for his views on gender following an online petition. #GMB pic.twitter.com/YO3hKRNVFv
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) October 15, 2019
“You make fun of them, you use for them entertainment, you use the lives of real people in this country – a vulnerable minority – as something to make fun of and get a reaction.”
“Literally,” Morgan said, “if you can identify in 100 different ways, you gender as a ‘two-spirit penguin’ and all this other stuff, then I’m entitled to identify as a ‘two spirit penguin’.
“In other words there are no limits,” he said, before calling non-binary people “ludicrous”.
A crux of Morgan’s argument – that the LGBT+ community should “respect” his “right” to identify in whatever way he does – was one that many of his guests have pointed one thing out to.
It is purely hypothetical. It is an identity label not designed to define his authentic life, his truth or other people’s, but merely there to challenge pro-LGBT+ convictions.
My god, that @GMB debate was intense. And apparently we were on air for 16 minutes, which is a long time to rowing with @piersmorgan. But I’m glad to defend the rights of people who are too often demonised and mocked, and don’t get national TV platforms to fight back 🌈💪
— Benjamin Butterworth (@benjaminbutter) October 15, 2019
“Being a penguin isn’t a gender,” Butterworth blasted back, “it’s not on the gender spectrum.” Nor is, to clarify, being a giraffe, squirrel or elephant. This is not an episode of Animal Planet.
He added: “No matter how many times you identify as ‘Pingu Morgan’ it is not a gender people can identify with.”
India Willoughby: Non-binary identities are ‘shameful’, ’embarrassing’ a ‘mockery’ and a ‘joke’.
Butterworth highlighted that hundreds of young trans and non-binary people tuning into breakfast television seeing their identities “mocked” would be damaging.
In response, Morgan sought to stress his position as an LGBT+ ally by bringing up his support for the gay community, where the host has challenged homophobic guests in the past.
But as Butterworth pointed out: “Not hating gay people isn’t a great achievement.”
I would much rather live in a world full of Piers Morgans than with the boring, humourless po-faced LGBT warriors who have taken trans over. No contest. A breath of fresh air 👍@PiersMorgan #PiersMorgan @GMB #GMB
— India Willoughby (@IndiaWilloughby) October 15, 2019
Meanwhile, Willoughby called Morgan a “beacon of light”, before adding: “Most trans people – and I’m going to use the term ‘transitoners’ here – because transgender now has become something completely different, support Piers.”
She added that ‘trans’ to her now means “floating about in the middle, no commitment, you pick-and-choose who you want to be”.
Moreover, she proclaimed that she not longer identifies as trans “because it’s become so embarrassing”, “shameful” and has made a “mockery” of the trans identity.
Before adding that “trans women are not ‘women’, not in today’s definition”.
Similarly, Morgan chimed in that the non-binary umbrella makes a “mockery” of and “trivialises” trans identities and is “utter nonsense”.
Butterworth butted heads with Willoughby, noting that while it’s not OK for transphobic people to deny trans folk the right to exist, it’s “fine” for her to do that with non-binary people.
Piers Morgan: ‘I wake up in the morning simmering.’
“I wake up in the morning simmering,” spouted the co-host, taking time between shouting over his guests and cutting into Susanna Reid’s purview with his hand.
“I read about vegan sausage rolls – I wanna go nuts,” he joked, “I don’t like a lot of stuff but I’m happy to have a debate.”
He added that, under gender-neutral categories at the Brit Awards, “women will suffer they will win less awards”, alongside relentlessly misgendering Sam Smith, a non-binary singer.
However, the Brits are actually one of the few award ceremonies left in the industry that still use gender-specific categories.