Belfast Telegraph

Eamonn Holmes 'hasn't learned anything' from Meghan Markle race row

Sarah Tulloch

By Sarah Tulloch

Eamonn Holmes said he “hasn’t learned anything” after spakring a row for describing the Duchess of Sussex as “uppity”.

The Belfast-born presenter came under fire after using a word he was unaware had racist connotations to describe the Duchess of Sussex.

Quizzed by Metro on his thoughts on the race row that ensued, he said: "I haven’t learnt anything from it.

"I’d keep it as a national conversation. I don’t have anything to say about it."

He added: "People can make their own judgment whether they think it was a deliberately racist remark or not, so that’s all I have to say about that. People can have their own views on it.’"

On ITV's This Morning in July, the presenter discussed Meghan Markle's apparent refusal to be photographed at Wimbledon.

Holmes 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.'"

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

Following the comment, the presenter received an Ofcom complaint.

The 60-year-old 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."

The spokesperson added that reports of an ITV ban on the word are inaccurate.

Ade Rawcliffe, ITV's Head of Diversity, wrote to the upset viewer who made the complaint to Ofcom, saying: "The origins of the term have now been explained to Eamonn and the wider editorial team and it won’t be used again. We apologise for any offence that this may have caused you."

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