ITV had to edit Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Harry and Meghan after capturing misleading headlines
ITV was forced to edit part of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after it became known that it contained misleading and distorted headlines portraying British press coverage of the couple as racist. Headlines that flashed on screen during the controversial interview with the US chat show host were manipulated to support the couple’s claim that they were the victims of bigoted news coverage. Associated Newspapers, publishers of The Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail and MailOnline, complained to Viacom CBS – the US television giant that broadcast last week’s two-hour program – about “the deliberate distortion and treatment of headlines”. It also called on ITV to remove the “misleading and inaccurate headlines” from the program, which MailOnline says is still available on its ITV Hub catch-up service. The interview was seen by 11.1 million viewers in the UK and 17.1 million in the US. In a complaint to CBS, Liz Hartley, editor-in-chief at Associated Newspapers said: “Much of the headlines were either taken out of context or intentionally edited and displayed as evidence of the program’s allegation that the Duchess of Sussex was subjected to racist coverage by the British press . “She added,” This editing was not made clear to viewers and, as a result, this section of the program is both seriously inaccurate and misleading. ” The program featured a headline from The Daily Telegraph that read, “The real problem with Meghan Markle: She just doesn’t speak our language.” However, the second line of the heading, which was not shown, made it clear that the article was not mocking the Duchess’ ethnicity, but rather her habit of using “Hippie Corporate Management Speak.” Another example from January 2018 was a story in The Mail on Sunday that revealed how the girlfriend of then-Ukip leader Henry Bolton made racist comments about Meghan. The producers chose not to show the newspaper’s headline about the “hideous racist attack” and instead used a small portion of a MailOnline headline quoting one of the woman’s hideous messages – but omitted the rest of the headline . An ITV spokesman said he would remove three compromised Daily Mail, MailOnline and Mail am Sonntag, as well as a headline falsely attributed to the Guardian. However, the non-contextual heading Daily Telegraph is retained. Conservative MP Giles Watling, a member of the Commons Media Select Committee, said, “Future broadcasts of this interview should include a health warning for viewers. “People need to know that what they are seeing is not necessarily the truth, and using headlines is a total falsification of the facts.” Ms. Winfrey’s company, Harpo Productions, said, “We stand by the show in its entirety”. CBS did not respond to MailOnline’s request for comment.