Alex Beresford Has Faced 'Relentless Racism' Since Confronting Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain
In a new essay for The Telegraph, Beresford, 40, said he has taken a step back from social platforms as a result, and recounted how growing up mixed race in England has affected his perspective.
His on-air interaction with Morgan, 55, occurred last month, when the Britain's Got Talent judge made disparaging remarks on Good Morning Britain about Meghan Markle and the revelations about her mental health she made during her sit-down with Oprah Winfrey. Beresford spoke up and called his co-panelist's behavior "pathetic" and "diabolical."
The move prompted Morgan to storm off set during the broadcast, and later that day it was announced that he would be leaving his post at the morning news show.
"Since then I have been subjected to relentless racism myself on social media," Beresford wrote in the story published Wednesday. "I haven't announced it … but I have been forced to step away from Twitter and Facebook myself, because it was getting too much. I am a strong person, but I am not made of steel."
Born in Bristol, England, to a white mother from Britain and a Black father from Guyana, the TV personality went on to describe why Markle's interview "resonated" with him so deeply.
"Growing up mixed race was at times a lonely journey, but it's also beautiful discovering yourself and finding out where you stand," he wrote. "Of course, all of us regardless of colour are trying to find our place in this world and it's great having two very different points of origin, but there are times when you feel like you're being pulled in both directions."
"Thankfully I feel very well balanced," he added. "Some have, at times, questioned why they never hear me defending the white British side of my heritage, and that's simply because it's never been attacked, but I'd stand just as strong."
Beresford compared Markle's impact to that of former President Barack Obama, the United States' first Black president.
"When I was a child the thought of a 'mixed race' princess in the British Royal Family was as far-fetched as that of a black president of the United States," he wrote. "Both Meghan Markle and Barack Obama will go down in history for breaking barriers in elite institutions, but you only need to visit the comments section beneath online articles on either of them to see we've not necessarily progressed as far as you'd hope."
"Last month's Harry and Meghan interview resonated with me on so many levels, from a similar experience around the concern of a baby's shade of colour to the devastation of laying to rest someone very close to my heart just three months ago, who had those same suicidal thoughts," he continued. "Whilst appearing to be a Royal problem, it felt so personal to me."
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Beresford concluded his piece with a call for people to continue having the necessary but "uncomfortable" conversations around race and racism.
"Social media has clearly had an impact on our ability to engage in open discourse and listen to opposing views," he wrote. "In order to move the conversation on we will have to have those difficult conversations. Part of that process might just have to be agreeing to disagree."