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Meet the women who refuse to let Piers Morgan go unchecked on Twitter

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Kayleigh Dray
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Chrissy Teigen, Susan Sarandon and JK Rowling

From Jameela Jamil to JK Rowling, these incredible women have all fought with Piers Morgan on Twitter… and won.

Here at Stylist HQ, we do our best not to mention Piers Morgan by name. Instead, we prefer to refer to him as “The Eternal Thorn in Womankind’s Side”, “You Know Who”, “He Who Must Not Be Named”, or “the Dark Lord”. Because that’s the thing about obnoxious trolls: they’re a lot like fire. Or, to put it more bluntly, the more oxygen you give them (and attention you show them), the more powerful they become.

And yet…

Well, it’s actually really hard to ignore Morgan sometimes. Much like his hero Donald Trump, the Good Morning Britain host is something of a professional keyboard warrior, and sees it as his sacred duty to rile up the general public. On top of his Twitter following, Morgan also has a platform on a national TV show and his own newspaper column, all of which means he is able to seep into the daily narrative and inflict his views on the masses in a very big way. 

So, while ignoring him is fun (albeit tricky: have you ever tried to pretend you can’t smell a particularly evil fart? It’s a lot like that), it can also feel incredibly irresponsible. Somebody has to hold him accountable for his purposely antagonistic views. Somebody has to rein him in when he goes too far. And somebody has to point out when his views aren’t just polarising: they’re downright dangerous.

Thank goodness, then, for these brilliant women, all of whom have taken Morgan to task over his vitriol and exposed him for exactly what he is: a decrepit and increasingly irrelevant dinosaur.

Emma Watson

Emma Watson

To paraphrase Star Wars’ Yoda: fear of women’s bodies leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to insufferable morons like Morgan penning entire columns about Emma Watson’s 2017 photoshoot with Vanity Fair.

In one of the photos, Watson is seen posing in a white bolero that shows the outline of her breasts. And Morgan claimed the Beauty and the Beast star was a hypocrite, as she had previously criticised Beyoncé for catering to the male gaze.

“How does exposing her breasts to the world fit with Emma’s condemnation of Beyoncé doing the same?” he argued. “A generous observer might say ‘uneasily’. A less generous observer would brand it flaming hypocrisy.”

Watson, however, was quick to respond to Morgan’s criticism – by republishing the 2014 interview he had cited, in which she acknowledged that she sometimes felt “conflicted” about the “male voyeuristic” quality of some of Beyoncé’s music videos. 

But in that same interview, Watson quickly concluded that she ultimately thought Beyoncé’s ownership of her sexuality was “empowering because it is her choice… You do get [a] sense of, ‘I can be a feminist, I can be an intellectual, I can be all these other things, but I can also be OK with my femininity and being pretty and with all these things that I thought might negate my message or negate what I’m about.’”

Watson later told Morgan: “Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality.

“I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it.”

Jameela Jamil

In perhaps the most unsurprising bombshell of all time, Morgan recently announced that he isn’t a fan of the ongoing conversations around self-identity and gender fluidity. And, as such, he believes the rest of the world shouldn’t be a fan of the ongoing conversations around self-identity and gender fluidity.

“Is it a generational thing?” he moaned. “My young sons don’t care about this whole gender thing, they think I’m just an old fuddy-duddy, it doesn’t matter. ‘Why do you care, dad, what people identify as?’ But I think there are so many ramifications around self-identity that are a real concern, and they haven’t thought it through.” 

Jamil wasn’t going to let Morgan get away with it, though. “LOL,” she wrote on Twitter. “Of course England’s biggest shit stain has something mean to say about it. He thinks men who carries babies in a comfortable papoose where they can feel your body heat and pulse, aren’t ‘manly’. This clown spews constant toxic ideas of ‘masculinity’.”

Morgan hit back: “Appalling that you just assume I am identifying as male tonight.”

“You’re right, it is extraordinary I identify you as any kind of human being at all you giant pile of wank,” Jamil responded.

You can read more about their ongoing debate here

Little Mix

Little Mix, to many fans, are more than a band: they’re body positivity advocates, too. However, responding to their music video for Strip (in which the band appear naked with words like ‘ugly’, ‘talentless,’ and ‘slutty’ written on their skin), Piers Morgan suggested that LM were “using nudity to sell their albums”.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Morgan – clearly unable to recognise a metaphor even if he were bashed around the head with it – snapped: “What is empowering about this? Get your kit off, airbrush yourself to within an inch of your lives… it’s nonsense. It’s just stripping off to sell records. It’s actually using sex and sexuality to sell records. That’s it. There’s nothing else to this.”

He added: “I get insults every single day, I don’t take my clothes off and adorn my body in them.”

Thank god for small mercies, eh?

Speaking to Nick Grimshaw on BBC Radio 1, Jesy Nelson addressed Morgan’s comments, saying that neither she nor her bandmates had found them surprising.

“Of course not,” she said, “he’s a silly twat.”

And, of course, they weren’t the only ones to slam Morgan for this particular comment. Enter…

Ariana Grande

Responding to Morgan’s tweets about Little Mix (and her own mother), Ariana Grande weighed in magnificently on social media, taking the GMB host to task for the way he refuses to allow women in the spotlight to be sexual beings.

“I use my talent AND my sexuality all the time because I choose to,” she tweeted at Morgan. “Women can be sexual AND talented. Naked and dignified. It’s our choice. And we keep fighting until people understand. I say this with all due respect but thank you, next.”

She added: “Also Piers Morgan, I look forward to the day you realise there are other ways to go about making yourself relevant than to criticise young, beautiful, successful women for everything they do. I think that’ll be a beautiful thing for you and your career, or what’s left of it.”

Grande went on to remind Little Mix that “your sisters have your back” and that they should “keep fighting the fight divas”. More importantly, though, she made a point of exposing Morgan’s hypocrisy. 

How? By recirculating his 2009 advertisement for Burger King. You know, the one that featured him naked and draped in velvet? Yeah, that one.

Burger King were, naturally, simultaneously and mortified about the publicity.

“Oh god,” they said, retweeting the image into their feed. “Thought we deleted this image years ago…”

JK Rowling

In case you hadn’t noticed by now, JK Rowling and Morgan really do not get on – a fact made very clear when the Harry Potter author very publicly informed Morgan that his sycophantic attitude to Donald Trump’s presidency would, ultimately, prove his own downfall.

“If you’d only read Harry Potter, you’d know that the downside of sucking up to the biggest bully in school is getting burned alive,” she said.

It was at this point that Morgan panicked and loudly insisted that he had never read a Harry Potter book in his life, and never wanted to, either. Too bad, then, that Rowling was easily able to expose him as a big fat liar.

“Just been sent this,” wrote Rowling, sharing a screengrab of an article that waxed lyrical about the magical wizarding world she had created. “Could the writer let me know who he is? I’d love to thank him.”

Within moments, Morgan – despite not being tagged in the tweet – spotted her remarks, and felt compelled to comment.

“Priceless #humblebrag BS,” he wrote scathingly. “Nobody plays the celebrity game more abusively or ruthlessly than you. Ms ‘Intensely Private Billionaire’.”

Unfortunately for Morgan, however, he had fallen right into Rowling’s trap. Because, somewhat awkwardly, he was the author of the gushing article.

Talk about making a right Rita Skeeter out of yourself, eh?

Amber Rose

Remember what we said about Morgan and his irrational fear of the female form? It’s that same phobia which led to him attempting to shame Amber Rose – as in, yes, one of the women who created her own SlutWalk Festival.

Things kicked off between the pair when Rose posted a photo of herself to social media, which saw her posing in a string bikini top and no bottoms, with her pubic hair visible.

She captioned it with a link to her website, amberroseslutwalk.com, a movement she set up to raise awareness of rampant victim-blaming in sexual assault cases, specifically to highlight the fact that there’s a focus on how survivors of assault were dressed at the time of the attack.

Morgan immediately took offence to the image and fired off a response to Rose on Twitter, reading: “Put it away, luv. Thanks.”

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Unwilling to let Morgan’s comments shame her into taking down the image, Rose responded with the hashtag, “I’ll take things misogynistic assholes say for 500, Alex” – a reference to US game show Jeopardy.

Morgan, ego clearly bruised, ironically went on to insist that Rose’s decision to “nude” photos of herself was nothing more than “pathetic attention-seeking bullshit”.

Unperturbed – and deeply unimpressed – Rose replied: “Nude? Where? My breasts nor my vagina was showing and my legs were closed.

“I am assuming you are referring to the pubic hair that was shown in the picture. Uncomfortable? Get over it.”

Susan Sarandon

You may, perhaps, have noticed a running theme throughout this article: Morgan seemingly believes he has the right to police women’s bodies. As a rule, though, women tend to disagree with him – including Susan Sarandon.

The critically acclaimed actress found herself Morgan’s unwitting target when he took umbrage with her SAG Awards 2016 outfit. In a series of increasingly vitriolic tweets, Morgan branded Sarandon “tacky” and “publicity-seeking” – clearly unaware of the fact that, in making his complaints on one of the world’s biggest social media platforms, he himself was seeking publicity. Funny that.

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Sarandon responded with a still of herself wearing only a bra from 1975’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with the caption: “Today’s #TBT is dedicated to @piersmorgan.”

Later asked on a talk show about her run-in with Morgan, Sarandon paused for a moment, before responding: “Does he have a job? A real job? Why does he have so much time?”

Well, quite.

Chrissy Teigen

In 2016, Piers Morgan felt the need to share his thoughts on Muhammad Ali with the world, insisting that he “said far more inflammatory/racist things about white people than Donald Trump ever has about Muslims”.

“I hope people don’t make me sound too perfect when I die,” he added. “No coats of sugar please.”

John Legend was quick to respond, writing: “You could test us by announcing your retirement?”

And Chrissy Teigen added: “From what? Trolling isn’t a job (I’ve tried).”

Morgan, clearly disgruntled at how the worm had turned, lashed out at Teigen, insisting that modelling is not a “proper job”.

Cue the ultimate clapback of “it keeps me nice and not-racist so sure, give it a go.”

Ah, Teigen. Don’t ever change.

Ruby Tandoh

Ruby Tandoh attends a celebration for the publication of 'Not That Kind Of Girl'

Ruby Tandoh – who first shot to fame on Great British Bake Off – had quite the response for a Good Morning Britain researcher hoping to get her on the show.

“Hi Charlotte, I know it’s just your job so no hard feelings, but Piers Morgan is a sentient ham and frankly I’d rather die.”

Touché.

Lily Allen

Lily Allen attends the Izzue show during London Fashion Week

We’ve loved Lily Allen for as long as we can remember, and we’ve hated Morgan even longer (sorry not sorry), so it was clear which side we were going to take when the two began sparring on Twitter.

The metaphorical shit hit the social media fan when Morgan raked Allen over the coals for wearing a necklace shaped like a machine pistol MAC-10.

“Why have you got a machine gun around your neck?” he asked.

She replied: “I’ll stop wearing the necklace when you apologize for hacking the phones of dead children. Deal? Calling me reprehensible for wearing a necklace …” referring to the phone-hacking scandal from Morgan’s time editing the Daily Mirror.

Morgan, unable to let the matter slide (as is his way), kept heckling Allen, and eventually declared that she was banned from appearing on his television show, Good Morning Britain, “until or if your new album is a hit. So probably never.”

Hmm. Proving that Morgan’s psychic abilities aren’t all that, Allen’s 2018 album, No Shame, entered the UK charts at Number 5 and landed itself in the Top 10 on the US iTunes charts.

Despite earning her spot on the GMB couch, though, Allen made it clear she would not be appearing on Morgan’s show.

“There would be no incentive to come and talk to you if an album was already a commercial success,” she said. “That’s not how promotion works.”

Sophie Turner

In January 2019, Piers Morgan retweeted an interview with Coronation Street’s Beverley Callard, in which the soap actress claimed that celebrities are “trying to make mental health problems ‘fashionable’”.

Making his position on the subject abundantly clear, the professional troll opined: “She’ll be hammered for saying this, but it’s 100% true.”

Right. Enter Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, who replied directly to Morgan’s tweet and called him out for shaming those who feel comfortable talking about their mental health issues, and highlighted how damaging this attitude is.

Turner tweeted: “Or maybe they have a platform to speak out about it and help get rid of the stigma of mental illness which affects 1 in 4 people in UK per year. 

“But please go ahead and shun them back into silence. Twat.”

Emily Ratajkowski

Emily Ratajkowski starred in the Blurred Lines video, later describing it as "the bane of my existence"

The point has been made countless times throughout this article, but remember what we said about Morgan and his apparent terror of the female form? Case in point: his 2018 spat with Emily Ratajkowski.

Speaking on GMB, Morgan criticised the model for wearing lingerie in a video for LOVE magazine, calling her a “global bimbo”.

He later tweeted: “This is Emily Ratajkowski ‘promoting feminism’. Somewhere, Emmeline Pankhurst just vomited.”

The women’s rights advocate responded: “Lol, never said my love video was a feminist statement. But now it’s worth saying that telling women what to do with their bodies and sexuality is actually just classic sexism.

“I can have opinions about feminism and also do sexy photo shoots – okay. Thanks.”

Ratajkowski did not dignify subsequent Morgan’s ranting with a response. However, this quote from her LOVE interview certainly sums things up.

“To me, female sexuality and sexiness, no matter how conditioned it may be by a patriarchal ideal, can be incredibly empowering for a woman if she feels it is empowering to her,” she said.

“The way I dress, act, flirt, dance, have sex - those are my decisions and they shouldn’t be impacted by men. Being sexy is fun and I like it. I should never have to apologise for that. My life is on my terms and if I feel like putting on sexy underwear, it’s for me. Personal choice is the core ideal in my concept of feminism.”

Lady Gaga

Could a person like Morgan ever truly experience an emotion as complex as regret? Apparently so – especially when it comes to this particularly obnoxious 2016 exchange with Lady Gaga. Shortly after the star opened up about her battle with post-traumatic stress disorder, Morgan decided to cast doubt over her claims and dispute her condition.

“No, soldiers returning from battlefields [have PTSD],” he tweeted, in response to a news story about Gaga’s PTSD. “Enough of this vain-glorious nonsense.”

When the singer’s fans pointed out that her PTSD stemmed from a sexual assault, Morgan snapped back: “No. Lady Gaga and Madonna have both made ALLEGATIONS of rape many years after the event. No police complaint, no charges, no court case.”

Gaga refused to be riled, and instead chose to remind Morgan of her work with Vice President Joe Biden to combat sexual assault. Morgan responded with an invitation for an interview.

She responded, “@piersmorgan would also love to talk with you about PTSD, that it’s not just a ‘military’ disorder. There is a mental health youth epidemic.” 

Morgan has since reflected on the incident and admitted he was “perhaps a little insensitive”.

“I remember Lady Gaga saying she had PTSD and stuff and I launched into her and sort of inferred that no one outside the military should really be claiming to get PTSD,” he said in an interview with the Radio Times.

“I’ve got a lot of military in my family and PTSD is obviously a real problem if you come off a battlefield but I do accept that you can have it in other forms.”

Kim Kardashian

Are you ready for yet another example of Morgan’s inability to look at a woman’s body without clutching at his (metaphorical) pearls and alerting the elders? He once offered to buy clothes for Kim Kardashian after she posted a naked mirror selfie with only two black lines covering her private parts.

“I know the old man’s $50 million in debt, Kim – but this is absurd,” Morgan tweeted. “Want me to buy you some clothes?”

Kardashian refused to be rattled, though, and coolly replied: “hey @piersmorgan never offer to buy a married woman clothes. That’s some Ashley Madison type shit.”

Quite.

Images: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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