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The Independent Press Standards Organization (IPSO) has found that a column written in a British tabloid was sexist against Meghan Markle. The article, written by TV host and columnist Jeremy Clarkson, included such references as wanting to see the Duchess of Sussex publicly flogged while naked. The ruling marks the first time the press regulator has upheld a complaint about sexism.


An article written in British tabloid The Sun has been deemed sexist against Meghan Markle, in what is being considered a landmark, historic ruling.

IPSO – a press watchdog – received more than 25,000 complaints in the wake of The Sun’s publication of Jeremy Clarkson’s column about the Duchess of Sussex in December last year.

It became IPSO’s most complained-about article in history.

 

Meghan Markle herself did not actually raise a complaint against the article, however, the watchdog reveals she “raised no objection” to an inquiry being held following the widespread backlash.

The column included statements including Jeremy Clarkson hating Meghan on a “cellular level” and his dreams that one day she would be forced to parade naked through Britain while crowds chanted “shame” and hurled “excrement” at her.

The ruling is the first time a complaint to IPSO about discrimination relating to someone’s sex has been upheld, the regulator revealed.

They found there was “a reference to stereotypes about women using their sexuality to exert influence” and “implied that it was the duchess’s sexuality – rather than any other attribute or accomplishment – which was the source of her power.”

The watchdog ruled that Jeremy’s positioning of Meghan spotlighted her as a “specifically female negative role model.”

“Ipso therefore found that the column included a number of references which, taken together, amounted to a pejorative and prejudicial reference to the Duchess of Sussex’s sex in breach of the Editors’ Code,” the group concluded.

After publishing the controversial column, Prince Harry leapt to his wife’s defense, lashing out at Jeremy Clarkson’s words as “horrific, hurtful and cruel.”

Jeremy later apologised for the piece, describing his language as “disgraceful”.

In a statement, The Sun said, “After Jeremy Clarkson’s column was published in December, both The Sun and Jeremy Clarkson apologised. We said we regretted publishing the article and removed it from our website.”

“The Sun accepts that with free expression comes responsibility. Half of The Sun’s readers are women and we have a very long and proud history of campaigning for women, which has changed the lives of many.”

While Ipso ruled that the column did amount to sexism, it rejected complaints that the article was racist, inaccurate, or harassed the Duchess.

The Sun will have to publish a summary of the findings against it on the same page as the column usually appears, along with a notice flagging the statement on the front page of Saturday’s edition and on its website.

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