After a petition circulated calling for Piers Morgan to be fired from “Good Morning Britain” for, among other things, his comment in which he countered a BBC film claiming there are 100 genders by saying he identified as a penguin, Morgan fired back, saying to gay journalist Benjamin Butterworth, who signed the petition, “It only takes me to say on television, get away from this, this control freakery stuff that no one’s allowed to challenge it. If it’s to me that says that, I’m going to say it. And you’re not going to stop me. And you’re not going to get me fired, You’re not.”
Morgan also stated, “You want to fire me because you want me to think how you think. And my problem about liberals today is they’ve become so illiberal, they’re only interested in making other people agree with them and think like them. And if they don’t, they no-platform them; they ban them; they cancel them; they sign petitions to get people fired, and it is utter nonsense.”
Morgan’s comments about identifying as a penguin, as HuffPost UK reported, came in response to the BBC film. HuffPost UK wrote:
Referencing a story about a baby penguin at London Aquarium being raised gender-neutral by a lesbian penguin couple, he said on the ITV breakfast show: “I’m going to say that now I am identifying as a penguin and I demand to be allowed into the penguin enclosure at the aquarium and live with the penguins.”
On “Good Morning Britain,” joined by Butterworth, who is gay, and trans journalist India Willoughby, who took Morgan’s side against Butterworth, Morgan stated:
I have been subjected to more foul abuse on social media that I have in the last few days since this campaign started against me. There’s an aspect of, I’m afraid, your lobby group, the gender lobby group, which is highly abusive. They want everybody that they don’t agree with to be fired, canceled, destroyed, and everything else, and I say, what is wrong with debate? You and I came on and we debated on here, right? I actually learned a bit from you and perhaps you learned a bit from me, maybe you didn’t.
But your response to a good-natured debate is to come back on and demand that I be fired because we only want people sitting here that you agree with. And I say that most people, most people, I say this in respect to you, most people think the concept of 100 genders is utter nonsense. It only takes me to say on television, get away from this, this control freakery stuff that no one’s allowed to challenge it. If it’s to me that says that, I’m going to say it. And you’re not going to stop me. And you’re not going to get me fired, You’re not.
Willoughby turned to Butterworth: “And what if that means your expertise on gender? You got any gender issues?”
Butterworth responded: “I’m a cisgendered male and I feel happy to be comfortable in that. Cisgendered means I was born as a man and I identify as a man. But the truth is, Piers, when you think you’re under attack, imagine being someone that’s been criticized by their friends, by their family, by their school, by parts of the media, from the day they were born, just for being who they are —”
Morgan interjected, “There’s a school where I grew up, near where I grew up, in Brighton, right? About five miles from where I grew up. There are now 85 kids identifying as gender-fluid, non-binary. It is nonsense. It’s a fad; it’s confusing everybody. You’ve got kids watching this program now hearing you say there are a hundred ways to identify your gender. Not male and female; there are 100 ways —”
Butterworth: There are 100 ways of being compassionate. You know what would be better than you being fired, cause actually I’m not intensely keen on this cancel culture —
Morgan: You signed the petition to have me fired.
Butterworth: I did because you don’t seem to want to learn. But what would be better —
Morgan: You want me to think how you think is what you mean. You want to fire me because you want me to think how you think. And my problem about liberals today is they’ve become so illiberal, they’re only interested in making other people agree with them and think like them. And if they don’t, they no-platform them; they ban them; they cancel them; they sign petitions to get people fired, and it is utter nonsense.
The petition to fire Morgan has amassed roughly 36,000 signatures; another petition supporting Morgan has amassed roughly 58,000 signatures.
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