Belfast Telegraph

Eamonn Holmes caught up in race row over Meghan Markle comment

Word: Eamonn Holmes
Word: Eamonn Holmes

By Jenna Gardiner

Eamonn Holmes has come under fire after using a word he was unaware had racist connotations to describe the Duchess of Sussex.

Speaking on This Morning, the Belfast-born presenter branded Meghan Markle as "uppity" when discussing her apparent refusal to be photographed at Wimbledon.

He said: "If you have an uppity attitude, you're only through the door two minutes and suddenly you're sitting at Wimbledon and your royal protection are saying: 'No photographs, no photographs!'"

An upset viewer later complained to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom that the word was racist.

Historically, "uppity" was used in 19th century United States as an insult to black people who "didn't know their place".

The Belfast man was defended by his ITV bosses, who said he was unaware of the historical context of the word. ITV said he was "absolutely not reprimanded", but the complaint did prompt an explanation of possible interpretations of the term.

ITV told the Belfast Telegraph: "This was a point of learning for the wider team, not in any way a rebuke."

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