Morgan first offered an “RIP” honoring the “television legend.” But it was his second tweet that raised eyebrows, which referenced his icy relationship with the famed journalist after he took over his timeslot on CNN.
“Larry King was a hero of mine until we fell out after I replaced him at CNN & he said my show was ‘like watching your mother-in-law go over a cliff in your new Bentley.’ (He married 8 times so a mother-in-law expert),” Morgan wrote. “But he was a brilliant broadcaster & masterful TV interviewer.”
Critics slammed the outspoken British journalist for his “disrespectful” tweet.
“This is crass and tasteless, Piers. Why take personal shots at a time like this? Just say something kind. Or don’t say anything. There’s alway[s] that,” BET host Marc Lamont Hill reacted.
“Piers Morgan reminding us that Larry King was correct. And confirming that Piers Morgan is a deeply insecure man,” Yale professor Howard Forman wrote.
“This tweet encapsulates much of what is wrong in our society. Rather than just paying tribute to a man who died, @piersmorgan had to play the grievance card & make it about him. I can understand why Trump would appeal to a man like that. We should stop rewarding this narcissism,” Renew Democracy Initiative director Uriel Epshtein tweeted.
“What a dumb [a–] disrespectful tweet,” writer David Grzybowski said.
The “Good Morning Brittain” co-host stood by his tweet while responding to another Twitter user who wrote: “This is honest and you still found a way to keep it respectful. I appreciate it. Hate phony stuff.”
“Me too,” Morgan wrote. “Larry hated me replacing him at CNN and never made any secret of it, which I found very sad because he was one of my heroes – but I still think he was a superb broadcaster & one of the all-time TV greats.”
Morgan replaced King’s show in 2011, but “Piers Morgan Live” was later canceled by CNN in 2014 due to poor ratings.
King died Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Ora Media — the studio and network he co-founded — said in a statement. He was 87.
No cause of death was given, but he had been hospitalized with a COVID-19 infection, according to several media reports.