Good Morning Britain presenter Alex Beresford has opened up about "relentless racism” he suffered following his public falling out with Piers Morgan
In a column for The Telegraph, the weatherman said he had been targeted by online trolls in the wake of his argument with Morgan, and has been forced to “step away” from Facebook and Twitter.
He wrote the column in response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities which said there was no evidence of institutional racism and labelled Britain’s approach to racism as a “beacon for other white-majority countries”.
Beresford also opened up on the “personal” reasons he opposed Piers Morgan on live TV revealing the recent death of a friend and his experience of racism growing up.
What did Alex Beresford say about racism?
Alex Beresford described Thursday’s race report as “a disservice to this country”.
He said: "That may be what the government wants to believe, but it does a disservice to this country. If we acknowledge there is racism in Britain - as the report does - then we have to acknowledge it will find its way into institutions.
"The report gives a false sense of hope that our work is done and will simultaneously give social media racists the comfort to push a little bit further as they hide in plain sight."
Beresford also revealed his decision to step away from social media after experiencing a barrage of racism.
He wrote: "I have been forced to step away from Twitter and Facebook myself, because it was getting too much. I am a strong person, but I am not made of steel.These are just the past few weeks of my own, very much lived experience of racism in Britain."
He added: "Social media has clearly had an impact on our ability to engage in open discourse and listen to opposing views. In order to move the conversation on we will have to have those difficult conversations."
Why did Alex Beresford oppose Piers Morgan?
Beresford clashed with Piers Morgan during a debate about the Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
During the interview the duchess opened up about struggling with suicidal thoughts, with Morgan claiming that he didn’t “believe a word” she said.
Beresford intervened and criticised Morgan who stormed off the show and resigned from his position.
Beresford says that he spoke up for personal reasons.
He wrote: “Last month’s Harry and Meghan interview resonated with me on so many levels, from a similar experience around the concern of a baby’s shade of colour to the devastation of laying to rest someone very close to my heart just three months ago, who had those same suicidal thoughts.
"Whilst appearing to be a Royal problem, it felt so personal to me.”
Beresford also discussed his experiences of being raised by a white British mum and a Guyanese father.
He said: "I’ve always found that being half white gives some people the extra confidence to speak more freely in your presence – say, telling their favourite stereotypical joke that you’re expected to find hilarious because “you’re not even black”, while knowing that the thrill on their face comes from the fact that half of you is. I’m hopeful that the younger generations in my family will encounter this much less”
He added: "When I was a child the thought of a 'mixed race' princess in the British Royal Family was as far-fetched as that of a black president of the United States.”
"Both Meghan Markle and Barack Obama will go down in history for breaking barriers in elite institutions, but you only need to visit the comments section beneath online articles on either of them to see we've not necessarily progressed as far as you'd hope."