By MailOnline Reporter
A Los Angeles-based Good Morning Britain reporter today said there had ‘definitely been a change in tone’ of US coverage of Meghan Markle and you can ‘see they are not happy with her’.
Ross King MBE, who moved to America in 2000, suggested the timing of her interview with The Cut – just days before the anniversary of Princess Diana‘s death – and the row over remarks about Nelson Mandela had generated a negative reaction.
‘I definitely have noticed a shift out here, and I think a lot of that has to do with the timing of the things we’ve been hearing,’ he told Lorraine .
‘A lot of the news programmes and the entertainment shows were about the 25th anniversary of Diana’s passing, and there was so much there about how much joy she brought to the world, her fashion… they were covering absolutely everything.
‘And then of course came along the Meghan podcast so a lot of people were going ‘what was Meghan hoping to achieve with this’? Certainly from her employer’s point of view they were hoping the podcast would do well, and it has been the number one podcast out here.
Ross King MBE, who moved to America in 2000, suggested the timing of her interview with The Cut – just days before the anniversary of Princess Diana’s death – and the row over remarks about Nelson Mandela had generated a negative reaction
‘But I think a lot of people are asking questions… in the past there hasn’t been a lot of negative press for Meghan out here because she is, to all intents and purposes, their princess.
‘I got the feeling, this time, certainly in terms of the TV shows and media coverage here you can certainly see they’re not that happy with her so you can definitely see a change in tone here.
King, who is also LA correspondent for Lorraine, said Meghan would have been wise to ‘read the room’ before complaining about her life during a cost of living crisis while she was living in a £11million mansion.
He also mentioned how Dr John Kani, a South African actor and friend of Mandela had said he was ‘baffled’ by a suggestion in Meghan’s interview that his country had ‘rejoiced’ when she married Prince Harry.
Dr Kani believes the Duchess of Sussex has made ‘a faux pas’ after she used a US magazine interview to imply her 2018 royal wedding sparked celebrations in South Africa reminiscent of the release of his friend Madiba, the legendary anti-apartheid leader.
He said Mr Mandela’s walk to freedom after 27 years was a ‘landmark moment’ while her marriage to Prince Harry was ‘no big deal’ in South Africa, adding that the two events ‘cannot be spoken in the same breath’ and ‘you can’t really say where you were when Meghan married Harry’.
The bombshell interview in The Cut suggested Meghan had been told the opposite by a male South African cast member at the London premiere of the Lion King live action film held in 2019. It reported the Duchess as saying: ‘He looked at me, and he’s just like light. He said, “I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison”.’
King said Meghan (seen with Harry in New York on July 18) would have been wise to ‘read the room’ before complaining about her life during a cost of living crisis while she was living in a £11million mansion
Discussing the comments, King said: ‘If you’re going to say something like that, surely you know what reaction that’s going to get. You know that people are going to dig and say who was it, who said it, and what exactly did say.
‘So I think it’s just the tone of it all. Why say those things? Especially at this time and given the effect this will also have on the boys as well, Harry and William, at such a sad time for them. It just seems insensitive. The timing is all wrong.’
Meghan’s interview with The Cut sparked a damning front page in the New York Post with the headline, ‘Toddler And Tiara: Spoiled princess Meghan STILL whining about royal family’.
Meanwhile, the venerable Washington Post cautioned her that ‘to succeed in the media, [she] needs to leave royal traumas behind’. And one U.S. TV insider claimed ‘some of the lustre’ has gone.
Meanwhile, CNN host Don Lemon picked up on her claim on the second episode of her Archetypes podcast that she only really began being treated like a black woman when she started dating Prince Harry.
The New York Post’s front page marked Meghan’s latest media foray with the headline ‘Toddler And Tiara: Spoiled princess Meghan STILL whining about royal family’
While Lemon praised the Duchess of Sussex for speaking out about ‘colorism’, he also said it was important to acknowledge that she was speaking from a position of privilege, given she ‘did not have to deal with racism’ until she married Prince Harry.
‘I commend Meghan Markle for going there, even though it is a bit shocking that at 30-some years of age, she is just understanding what it’s like to be a black woman in America,’ Lemon told his fellow anchors yesterday morning.
Today, Daily Mirror editor Alison Phillips also agreed Meghan had started to see her popularity decline in the US.
She told Lorraine: ‘I think in this country her popularity was starting to wane a good year ago when they first left the country.
‘I do also think though we’ve got into a situation where everything around Meghan and Harry has become an incredibly negative conversation, which seems quite sad as well.
‘Some of the things that she’s said at best maybe they’re exaggerated but now there is such focus on every single sentence she says, picking holes in it, trying to tear it apart.
‘I kind of think the best thing we can do is let them stay in the States making her podcasts.
‘And I imagine the first one will do quite well then as with all things it will drop off a bit.
‘Then maybe they’ll have that greater privacy that they claim they wanted and they can see how they like it then.’
Is America falling out of love with the ‘Petulant Princess’ of Montecito? Even the ‘woke’ magazine that interviewed Meghan Markle at her £11.2m California mansion carried an undercurrent of disapproval, writes TOM LEONARD
When the Sussexes fled the horrors of palace life in 2020, it was America — land of the free, home of the brave and the mega-bucks media deal — that welcomed them with open arms.
The public and Press hungrily swallowed every last morsel of the couple’s harrowing tale of racism and rejection in that infamous interview with a fawning Oprah Winfrey. Their treatment at the hands of the wicked British Press generated shock and sympathy.
Soon they became the Duke and Duchess ‘across the water’, building a new, 21st-century court of their own, rubbing shoulders with Hollywood stars and the super-rich, nurturing their own brand of philanthropy and exploiting their royal titles while striking multi-million-dollar business deals, which, to most Americans, was acceptable, if not admirable.
Yet just two years on, there are worrying signs that America may be beginning to tire of it all. Worrying, that is, for the Sussexes, who need to keep milking public interest in them if they are to pay for that lavish lifestyle in Montecito, revealed in some detail in the Duchess’s latest interview with New York fashion website The Cut.
When the Sussexes fled the horrors of palace life in 2020, it was America — land of the free, home of the brave and the mega-bucks media deal — that welcomed them with open arms
Could it be that Americans are waking up to the fact there may be little more to the Sussexes than their seemingly bottomless well of grievance about their treatment in the UK?
As the Mail reported yesterday, the New York Post’s front page marked Meghan’s latest media foray with the headline ‘Toddler And Tiara: Spoiled princess Meghan STILL whining about royal family’.
More significantly, the venerable Washington Post cautioned her that ‘to succeed in the media, [she] needs to leave royal traumas behind’. And one U.S. TV insider claimed ‘some of the lustre’ has gone.
Indeed, a milestone moment in the Sussexes’ relationship with the U.S. may well prove to be that interview with The Cut.
It was intensely revealing — and not, principally, for Meghan’s outrageous and occasionally risible headline-stealing comments, such as the astonishing claim that her joining the Royal Family had been a moment of international jubilation comparable to the release of Nelson Mandela.
Even more surprising, the interview was, in fact, quite negative about her.
The Cut is part of New York Magazine, which is about as woke as you get in the mainstream U.S. media — a fact that no doubt weighed heavily in the Sussex camp’s decision to grant its journalist an audience.
And yet the undercurrent of disapproval in the 6,400-word piece — by African-American feature writer Allison P. Davis — was hard to miss.
Meghan greets her with ‘the perfect level of warmth’ at the couple’s £11.2 million mansion, and the writer is struck by the moneyed, impeccably tasteful if ‘marshmallowy’ splendour.
Then there is the delicious irony revealed in the grandness of a pair who rejected royal life, but who work from two plush club chairs behind a single desk ‘facing into the room like thrones’, and where ‘an invisible hand’ lights a Soho House candle.
As for the interview, Davis reports every remark, no matter how nonsensical, while repeatedly hinting that Meghan is far more calculating and self-absorbed than she’d have us believe.
Davis writes — in reference to the cheesy and contrived U.S. dating reality TV series The Bachelor — that the Duchess ‘sometimes converses like she has a tiny Bachelor producer in her brain, directing what she says’.
She describes how, instead of answering a question, Meghan at one point suggests how her interviewer ‘might transcribe the noises she’s making’. (Guttural, by the way.)
Later, in response to a question about why she thinks the Royal Family treated the pair worse than other family members, ‘the Bachelor producer in her head deliberates how much should be said’, Davis writes archly.
‘ ‘I don’t know,’ she says, casting a knowing gaze out into the middle distance.’
On another occasion, the Duchess theatrically reveals in a ‘conspiratorial hush’ that she is planning a return to social media site Instagram (though she later backtracked). Meghan ‘looks around, making sure nobody (who would be?) is listening in’, Davis writes.
She’s similarly sarcastic when Meghan tells her she and Harry initially couldn’t afford their new home — a revelation Davis finds ‘utterly humbling’.
Granted, the interview is hardly a Jeremy Paxman-style encounter, but it should have rung warning bells for the Sussexes. Such U.S. media mockery of the former Meghan Markle would have been unimaginable a year ago.
As a veteran member of the U.S. news media told the Mail yesterday: ‘It had you wondering if [they] can still rely on any of us to fight their corner without just a smidgeon of balance — they can’t expect us to doff the cap for ever.’
And the quietly mocking tone of this interview certainly had an effect on its readers. The great and good of liberal New York savaged the Duchess in the online comments, in which they dismissed the Sussexes as supremely ‘self-obsessed’ and vapid, while others asked simply: ‘Who cares?’
But if Americans do lose all interest in the couple, it will throw into question the very delicate economics that have allowed the couple to live — as Davis puts it — in a ‘palace in a better climate’.
The couple were reportedly able to afford their home only after they had signed two huge media deals — one for $25 million to produce podcasts with Spotify, and another with Netflix, said to be worth $100 million, to make films, documentaries and TV shows.
On top of the house, they have to finance a lifestyle that stretches to private security and private jets. However, both deals depend on the Sussexes producing ‘content’ and, so far, that has been very much lacking.
Compounding the pressure for results is the fact that both deals were made in 2020 when the media companies were far healthier than they are now.
Some industry insiders have wondered whether the couple are struggling to find anything noteworthy to say beyond their split with the Royal Family.
In May, Netflix abruptly cancelled Pearl, an animated children’s series that had been a passion project of the Duchess. According to entertainment industry website theankler.com, the news set off ‘a fire alarm at Archewell’, the Sussexes’ production company.
Could it be that Americans are waking up to the fact there may be little more to the Sussexes than their seemingly bottomless well of grievance about their treatment in the UK? A woman is seen protesting outside an event attended by Harry and Meghan to mark Nelson Mandela International Day in July
‘Harry and Meghan called an all-hands meeting,’ an Archewell insider told the website. ‘They were deeply concerned about the optics of this. Meghan wanted to talk to Ted [Sarandos, the co-chief executive of Netflix].’
Sources told the website that the company’s underwhelming output is partly down to a ‘lack of urgency’ from a couple with so many other interests (Harry’s polo and their charity work), but also down to the Duchess’s alleged vacillation.
‘She’s terrified of making a decision because she’s so concerned about her image, and so they can’t pull the trigger on anything,’ said a source who has spoken with Archewell about its content strategy. ‘She wants to be seen as this world leader, but they don’t have any strong ideas.’
Netflix claims there are Archewell projects on the horizon, but won’t say more.
Similar uncertainty hangs over the couple’s other big potential money-spinner: Harry’s autobiography with its apparent bombshell revelations — now reportedly delayed until next year.
Will it ever come out and, if it does, will it just be another retread of their life of suffering in the Royal Family?
This week, after a conversation with singer Mariah Carey — for Meghan’s new Spotify podcast, Archetypes — became an opportunity for the Duchess to complain that she’d never been treated as a ‘black woman’ until she started dating Prince Harry, even the fiercely progressive Washington Post, once one of the Sussexes’ staunchest defenders in the U.S. media, lost patience.
In an editorial, the newspaper pointed out that the couple’s entitled existence made them ill-suited to lecturing others.
‘The more the pair talk about what they suffered in England, the more it seems that’s all Americans want to hear from them,’ said a Post columnist.
‘The only way for the Sussexes to build a truly new life, and have a wider impact on the causes they care about, is to stop making themselves the centre of the story.’
The waning support for the Sussexes and their one-note narrative was, in fact, starting to become evident soon after the Oprah Winfrey interview in March 2021, when an Economist/YouGov poll found their popularity had already slipped from a year earlier.
Just less than half (48 per cent) of respondents had a ‘favourable or somewhat favourable’ view of Meghan, while a third had a ‘very or somewhat unfavourable’ view of her.
In May this year, another YouGov poll found that her popularity among fellow Americans had tumbled further: 46 per cent now said they had a ‘very or somewhat unfavourable’ view of her — up 13 points.
Last month, a different survey found that only a quarter of Americans were ‘very or fairly interested’ in reading Harry’s memoirs. That’s still rather more enthusiasm than in the UK (14 per cent), but the gap is surprisingly close.
Interestingly, the couple do not have to look too far to find their rivals for transatlantic affection. As one U.S. TV insider reportedly said this week: ‘We are more likely to do something on William and Kate now.’
The Cambridges have recently appointed a new PR chief, Lee Thompson, who previously worked for U.S. media conglomerate NBC, and there are two major trips planned.
Later this month, Prince William will fly to New York — his first visit to the U.S. in eight years — for a summit for environmental initiative the Earthshot Prize. He will return stateside in December to present it to the winners in Boston.
It is yet to be confirmed if Kate — who enjoys enormous popularity in the U.S. — will accompany him.
If she does, we can no doubt expect some more headline-grabbing action from Meghan in response. But this time it may not be enough to push the Duchess of Cambridge out of the spotlight.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group