The controversy surrounding Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview continues, a week after it was broadcast in the UK.
It’s been revealed that ITV was forced to edit their version of the interview to remove “misleading” headlines.
During the interview, various newspaper headlines were shown on screen. It’s alleged that the headlines had been manipulated to “back up” the claims they were victims of racist coverage.
Associated Newspapers owns the Daily Mail and MailOnline. They lodged a complaint with American TV network CBS over “deliberate distortion and doctoring” in the chat.
The publishers argue that a section that showed various headlined was “seriously inaccurate and misleading”.
They claim the cuttings were edited or manufactured using selective highlights. They added that many of the articles used were not from the UK press, including US tabloids. That’s despite them being used to show alleged racism from British media.
In the letter, Associated Newspapers’ legal director, Elizabeth Hartley, said: “Many of the headlines have been either taken out of context or deliberately edited and displayed as supporting evidence for the programme’s claim that the Duchess of Sussex was subjected to racist coverage by the British press.
“This editing was not made apparent to viewers and, as a result, this section of the programme is both seriously inaccurate and misleading.”
During the section of the interview in question, one headline was shown from The Daily Telegraph which read: “The real problem with Meghan Markle: she just doesn’t speak our language.”
The publishers noted that second line of the headline wasn’t referring to Meghan’s ethnicity. Instead, it was her mannerisms of using “hippie corporate management speak”. The second line wasn’t shown on screen.
The footage didn’t show the headline ‘Vile Racist Attack’. Instead it used part which quoted one of the woman’s horrible messages.
An ITV spokesman told The Mail Online it was removing three manipulated Daily Mail, MailOnline and Mail on Sunday headlines. They also confirmed they would remove a headline wrongly attributed to the Guardian.
The spokesman confirmed that the controversial Daily Telegraph headline will remain.
The spokesman said: “Regarding the headlines The Mail on Sunday have drawn to our attention, we are now taking steps to edit these on the ITV Hub.”
Conservative MP Giles Watling, a member of the Commons Media Select Committee, said: “Any future broadcasts of this interview should come with a health warning for viewers.
However, Ms Winfrey’s company, Harpo Productions, told The Sun: “We stand by the broadcast in its entirety”.
Meanwhile, a Newcastle vicar contacted the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office following one of Meghan Markle’s claims.
During the interview, as she tended to the couple’s chickens, Meghan claimed that she and Harry married in secret in their garden. She said it took place days before the public wedding.
The vicar claims he was told “no wedding took place”.
The Duchess of Sussex said, “You know, three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that.”
Rev Mark Edwards says he contacted the Archbishop’s office to “get some clarity” on their policy.
But the vicar insists he was told by a Lambeth Palace staff member that, “Justin does not do private weddings. Meghan is an American, she does not understand.”
Rev Edwards said he was told: “Justin had a private conversation with the couple in the garden about the wedding, but I can assure you, no wedding took place until the televised national event.
Rev Edwards isn’t the first to question the claim. Church of England weddings require at least two witnesses, plus the public must have ‘unrestricted access’ to the ceremony so objections can be lodged.
In addition, a couple who are already married cannot do so again, unless something was wrong the first time.
Rev Tiffer Robinson is a Church of England vicar in Suffolk: “She’s entitled to consider it her marriage if she wants to. Americans are much less concerned with the specifics of marriage law than English clergy.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury has will not comment on Meghan’s comments as yet.
Now Rev Edwards says it’s “in the public interest for the leader of the church to put the record straight”.
“It puts us priests in a difficult position on what constitutes a Church of England wedding,” he told ChronicleLive.
“Should there be witnesses and licensing and legality or is it now just an ad hoc arrangement with members of clergy?”
“Can we now do private weddings without witnesses in our back gardens?
“Justin saying he refuses to comment is not helpful to the rest of us clergy and our own policies and practices.
“I have had people ask me during lockdown if they could have a private wedding, and I have had to explain that would not be a legal wedding and not according to canon law.
“I think we need a clarifying statement – we need to know what our policies and procedures are. It can’t appear to be one rule for one and another rule for another.”
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