So far, 203 people have complained to Ofcom, after the broadcaster shoehorned Meghan into a light discussion on the show last week about a photo of the Queen, the late Prince Philip and some of their great grandchildren.
Discussing the photo, which was taken in 2018 before the birth of Meghan and Prince Harry’s son, Archie, Hartley-Brewer said: “I wonder if Meghan has managed to take offence to this photograph that doesn’t include her son.”
She added Markle “probably thinks it’s a racist photograph” and said: “I’m sure she’s managed to take offence at it anyway” – knowing that Archie had not yet been born when the photo was taken.
At the time, her comments sparked outrage. Fellow guest Nicola Thorp – broadcaster and Coronation Street actress – told Hartley-Brewer that she was “pushing [an] agenda.”
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She said: “To suggest that Meghan would think that something was racist, something that didn’t even exist at the time, you yourself are kind of pushing this agenda.”
But Hartley-Brewer said she was making a “joke” by “pointing out that some people are able to find offence in anything”.We all know the funniest jokes are the ones you have to explain.
Ofcom will look into these comments before deciding whether to launch an investigation, as per standard procedure. And it comes after they announced they would investigate comments made by Piers Morgan on the show, doubting that Meghan had suicidal thoughts that she revealed in her interview with Oprah. Busy Ofcom, then.
For her part, Hartley-Brewer is no stranger to controversy. The Brexit supporting radio host has been frequently criticised for speaking out against lockdown, foreign aid and – that old chestnut – ‘political correctness’.
In late 2019, lawyer Jolyon Maugham accused Hartley-Brewer of revealing his home address at a time when he was receiving death threats for killing a fox. She said his address was already easily available in defence.
Oh dear, Julia.