British commentator Piers Morgan drew blowlash on social media after he accused comedian John Oliver of merely pretending to be an American when he discussed U.S. policy. Oliver was born in the United Kingdom (UK) but is a lawful permanent residence in the U.S.
On Feb. 18, Oliver blasted U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy during a segment on his HBO show, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”
Oliver asserted that Trump was alienating U.S. allies and diminishing the nation’s standing on the world stage.
“As an immigrant who has fallen in love with this country, for what it’s worth, please allow me to speak to the rest of the world in America’s defense,” OIiver said, according to USA Today. “Donald Trump does not represent America — well, to be completely honest, he does reflect it a bit. But the point is America is not one thing; it’s a beautiful mess of contradictions where good and bad are mixed together.”
Morgan, host of the UK program “Good Morning Britain,” took to social media to ridicule Oliver’s apparent identification as an American, Digital Spy reports.
“Watching John Oliver repeatedly say ‘we’ & ‘us’ when discussing America is comical,” Morgan tweeted out. “Mate, you were born in the Midlands to a pair of Liverpudlian parents & speak in a thick Brummie accent. You’re about as American as cricket & mushy peas, you shameless old fraud!”
Oliver lives in the U.S. as a permanent legal resident on a visa and his son is a U.S. citizen, according to Time.
The comedian is also married to American-born Kate Norley, a U.S. Army veteran of the Iraq war, Bustle reports.
Morgan’s tweet drew condemnation from Mark Zuker, the executive producer of the television sitcom “Modern Family.” Zuker blasted Morgan’s assertion that Oliver had no claim to an American identity and mocked the commentator for his career in U.S. media.
“Allow me to explain how America works: We are more than just that place in which you suffered a humiliating career failure,” Zuker tweeted in response. “We are a country of immigrants. When you’re done pud chugging Trump you should read up on us.”
Morgan had replaced Larry King on CNN between 2011 and 2014 until his show was cancelled due to low ratings, according to The New York Times.
Morgan replied to Zuker with “Allow ME to explain something: Modern Family sucks – I have laughed more at funerals.”
Zuker fired back “I’ve no doubt a ghoul like you finds funerals positively side splitting!”
Several social media users who were not celebrities also weighed in to defend Oliver.
“Just because he’s adopted doesn’t make him any less family,” wrote on Twitter user named Lanae Ancell. “He is we, he is us. And we are keeping him.”