Piers Morgan continues to find new enemies online every day, and this time he’s feuding with Sophie Turner. The Game of Thrones actress joins the ranks of seemingly countless other celebrities who have called Morgan out for his troll-like tweets, this time calling the morning news anchor a “twat” for spreading insensitive remarks about those who speak out about their mental health.
On Wednesday morning, Morgan quote-shared a tweet with a link to a Sun Times article about English actress Beverley Callard. The tweet Morgan retweeted included the words, “Beverley Callard says celebs are trying to make mental health problems ‘fashionable’,” and the anchor added his own thoughts to the mix, tweeting, “She’ll be hammered for saying this, but it’s 100% true.” It was then that Turner stepped in to put Morgan in his place and force him to acknowledge the implications of his tweet, saying, “Or maybe they have a platform to speak out about it and help get rid of the stigma of mental illness which affects 1 in 4 people in UK per year. But please go ahead and shun them back into silence. Twat.”
In typical Morgan fashion, he replied to Turner by mocking her concern with another tweet that said, “Hi Sophie, please don’t abuse me like this – it’s harmful to my mental health. Thanks.”
However, Callard’s actual words quoted in the article do acknowledge the stigma against those who struggle with mental illness, but the headline and Morgan’s tweet twisted her message. “Real mental illness is very dark and it takes a great deal of strength to ask for help,” Callard admitted. “I think we are now definitely chipping away at the stigma…But we have to be careful mental illness doesn’t become like a Gucci handbag,” she continued. Naturally, Morgan used his reigning status as a Twitter troll to pick and choose which part of Callard’s statement would provoke the most outrage.
Turner is also no stranger to clapping back on social media. Just a few months ago, she and her Game of Thrones co-star Maisie Williams publicly shared their negative response to Donald Trump’s co-option of a Game of Thrones meme, and on New Year’s Day the actress tweeted a cheeky statement regarding Trump. “Ugh so sad. Just been diagnosed with Trump Derangement Syndrome. Please help,” she said. By now, everyone should know better than to mess with Sansa Stark.
The actress has also spoken publicly about the stigma against those who speak out about mental health, acknowledging in an interview with SyFy her own family history and the importance of portraying characters “in a non-gimmicky way” that deal with those same real-life issues. For World Mental Health Day in October, Turner took to Twitter to spread encouragement to her followers. “I understand your pain. Trust me, I do. I’ve seen people go from the darkest moments in their lives to living a happy, fulfilling life. You can do it too. I believe in you. You are not a burden. You will NEVER BE a burden,” she shared.
It seems like every week, another well-known star reveals their own personal or private struggles with anxiety, depression, or other diagnosed mental illnesses. At just nine days in to the year, there has already been an uptick in the public discourse concerning fame and mental health. Earlier this week, the rapper CupcakKe was hospitalized for tweeting about her suicidal ideation, and other celebrities, like Pete Davidson and Kanye West continue to live through a very public struggle with their mental health. Even Hailey Bieber recently opened up to her fans on Instagram about her battle with anxiety and her goal to “be more open” in 2019. It’s not that struggling with mental health is a status symbol, but more celebrities are feeling revitalized to be open about their struggles in the hopes that they might help their fans. For Morgan to posit that celebrities are at the root of diagnosed mental health issues seeming “fashionable” now is misguided—it would appear that just by talking about the steps they take to manage their mental health, they open up the door for others to feel less alone and more encouraged to seek treatment from mental healthcare professionals.