ITV forced to edit Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Oprah interview to remove 'misleading' headlines

ITV was forced to edit its version of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Oprah interview to remove "misleading" headlines, it has been reported.

Headlines that flashed on the screen during the tell-all chat with Oprah Winfrey were considered to have been manipulated to back up the couple's claim they were victims of racist coverage.

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Associated Newspapers, which owns the Daily Mail and MailOnline, complained to American TV network CBS – which first aired the interview – over "deliberate distortion and doctoring" in a video montage.

It argued a section of the explosive chat designed to demonstrate how the British media's coverage of Meghan may have been racist was "seriously inaccurate and misleading".

The group claimed the montage of cuttings was edited or manufactured using selective highlights, adding that many of the articles used were not from the UK press but from foreign outlets, including US tabloids.

In a letter sent to CBS on Friday, 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."

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.

The programme showed one headline from The Daily Telegraph which read: "The real problem with Meghan Markle: she just doesn't speak our language."

However, the second line of the headline, which was not shown, made clear the article was not mocking the Duchess’s ethnicity, but her habit of using “hippie corporate management speak”.

Another example, from January 2018, involved a story in The Mail on Sunday which revealed how the girlfriend of the then Ukip leader Henry Bolton had made racist remarks about Meghan.

Producers did not show the newspaper's headline about the 'Vile Racist Attack' but instead used a small part of a MailOnline headline which quoted one of the woman's vile messages – omitting the rest of the headline.

An ITV spokesman told The Mail Online it would remove three manipulated Daily Mail, MailOnline and Mail on Sunday headlines, plus a headline wrongly attributed to the Guardian.

However, the 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."

A source said it would examine any other complaints.

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. 

“People need to know that what they are watching is not necessarily the truth and, in the use of newspaper headlines, a complete distortion of the facts.”

Ms Winfrey's company, Harpo Productions, said: “We stand by the broadcast in its entirety”.

The Sun Online has approached CBS and representatives for Meghan and Harry for comment.

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