CNN host Don Lemon is ‘shocked’ by Meghan Markle’s admission that she’s only recently begun to ‘understand what it’s like to be a black woman’ and says ‘she’s coming from a place of privilege’
- Don Lemon was speaking on Wednesday after the release of Meghan’s podcast
- In an interview with Mariah Carey, Markle spoke about being a mixed woman, saying she ‘did not have to deal with racism’ until she married Prince Harry
- Lemon praised her for speaking on the issue on colorism, by expressed his sock
- ‘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,’ he told his ‘New Day’ co-anchors
CNN anchor Don Lemon expressed his ‘shock’ on Wednesday at Meghan Markle’s podcast admission that she only recently began to ‘understand what it’s like to be a black woman’.
While he 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 hold his fellow co-anchors on Wednesday morning.
CNN anchor Don Lemon expressed his ‘shock’ on Wednesday at Meghan Markle’s podcast admission that she only recently began to ‘understand what it’s like to be a black woman’
The Duchess of Sussex’s comments came during her interview with Mariah Carey in the second episode of her Archetypes Spotify podcast, part of Meghan and Harry’s $21 million deal with the streaming giant.
Markle, whose estranged father Thomas is white and her mother Doria is black, said that when Carey first came on the music scene she thought: ‘Oh my gosh. Someone who looks like me. She’s mixed like me’, adding that she was a ‘fangirl’ of the star.
‘Because we’re light skinned, you are not treated as a black woman. You’re not treated as a white woman. You sort of fit in between,’ she told the singer.
‘If there is any time where there was more focus on my race it was when I started dating my husband,’ Markle said. ‘Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a black woman because up until then I was treated as a mixed woman and things really shifted’.
Carey replied: ‘But that’s an interesting thing, a mixed woman, because I always thought it should be OK to say I’m mixed, like it should be OK to say that, but people want you to choose.’
CNN’s ‘New Day’ co-anchor Brianna Keilar asked Lemon to weigh in on Markle’s comments on Wednesday morning, acknowledging that the issue of ‘colorism’ is something he has spoken about at length in the past.
‘In some ways, she’s saying that she had privilege and so therefore it didn’t apply to her because it never happened to her. Right?’ Lemon said.
The Duchess of Sussex’s comments came during her interview with Mariah Carey (pictured) in the second episode of her Archetypes Spotify podcast, part of Meghan and Harry’s $21 million deal with the streaming giant
‘She was a mixed woman. People didn’t really know how to react to her. They didn’t know if she was Black or White, but she didn’t get the full Black treatment because people weren’t sure that she was, you know, Black.
‘I think most African-Americans probably looked at her and said, “oh, I know that’s a Black woman,” but I think the larger culture may not have realized that,’ he noted.
‘But […] she is coming from is a place of privilege where she did not have to deal with racism until she married a white man. And she’s got all this criticism and all this attention,’ Lemon continued.
‘And suddenly she understood or understands what it’s like to be part of a group of people, especially women in this country or in Europe, who are discriminated against. So I think it was it was eye-opening for her. It’s certainly real.’
Lemon said it was ‘interesting’ that Markle and Carey had shared a similar experience, saying that he remembered when the singer broke on to the scene in the 1990s. ‘People didn’t know what to do with her,’ he said.
‘In their podcast, she talks about even people not knowing how to do her hair. And the people who were in charge of her [who were] trying to establish her as an artist didn’t really know how to market her,’ he recalled.
‘Do they market her as a Black woman? Do they market her as a mixed woman? Do they or as a White woman? They didn’t really know how to do it.
‘So […] I think it’s an eye-opening podcast and 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. It’s a bit surprising to me,’ Lemon concluded.
The episode, called ‘The Duality of Diva’, discusses being a diva and the experience of being mixed race
This week’s episode is called: ‘The Duality of Diva’, after Meghan herself was branded a diva by Ms Carey and the duchess admitted she first went into ‘quiet revolt’ after hearing the comment, before realising it was a comment.
At one stage Carey declares that Meghan has ‘diva moments sometimes’.
Meghan said: ‘That’s really important for people to remember that there might be this persona, this diva thing we can play into. It’s not something I connect to but for you, it’s been a huge part.’
Carey replied: ‘You give us diva moments sometimes Meghan. Don’t even act like.’
Meghan responded with: ‘What kind of diva moments do I give you?’
Carey added laughing: ‘Don’t act like you… it’s also the visual.’
Meghan replied: ‘Oh it’s the look.’
In her voiceover to the podcast, Meghan said she started to ‘sweat’ when Carey called her a diva, and offered a justification for Carey’s remarks.
‘Though my fan-girling was tempered today, I kind of think she could tell, but that aside, it was all going swimmingly. I mean really well until that moment happened, which I don’t know about you but it stopped me in my tracks when she called me a diva.
‘You couldn’t see me obviously, but I started to sweat a little bit, I started squirming in my chair in this quiet revolt. Like wait, what? No what? How could you? That’s not true. Why would you say that? My mind genuinely was just spinning with what nonsense she must have read or clicked on to make her say that?
Markle, whose estranged father Thomas is white and her mother Doria is black, said that when Carey first came on the music scene she thought: ‘Oh my gosh. Someone who looks like me. She’s mixed like me’, adding that she was a ‘fangirl’ of the star. In the podcast, she said she ‘did not have to deal with racism’ until she married Prince Harry (pictured in 2018)
‘I just kept thinking in that moment, was my girl crush coming to a quick demise? Does she actually not see me?
‘So she must have felt my nervous laughter and you all would have heard it too and she jumped right in to make sure I was crystal clear. When she said diva, she was talking about the way that I dress, the posture of a clothing, a quote unquote fabulousness as she sees it.
‘She meant diva as a compliment. I heard it as a dig. Heard it as the word diva as I think of it, but in that moment, as she explained to me, she meant it as chic, as aspirational.’
Meghan and Mariah’s discussion about being mixed race came after Meghan claimed she didn’t want her children photographed because of racism.
She said: ‘Why would I give the very people that are calling my children the N-word a photo of my child before I can share it with the people that love my child? You tell me how that makes sense and then I’ll play that game’.
In the podcast, Mariah Carey told Meghan about her childhood, saying: ‘I didn’t fit in, it would be more of the black area of town, or then you could be where my mom chose to live, where the more white neighbourhoods and I didn’t fit in anywhere at all.’
Meghan replied: ‘Yeah. I understand that.’
Carey described how she was teased by a boy at school for having only three shirts and wearing them on rotation, adding: ‘It was true.’
The singer added: ‘In a world where you’re the mixed kid of a full-on white neighbourhood that’s what you get.’
The duchess replies: ‘This is part of why when I was putting this conversation together I had to talk to you. Of course I had to talk to you. You were so formative for me. Representation matters so much.’
Mariah Carey and the Duchess of Sussex compared stories about dealing with their hair when younger.
Meghan said on the podcast: ‘Because my hair is so curly and it’s so, so thick, I just remember as a child – because my mom’s black – and so my grandma Jeanette would do my hair, she’d go ‘Just hold onto the sink’.
‘And I would grip my little hands on both sides – so you would have no luxury of being tender-headed because she would take the brush and just go whoosh, whoosh.’
Titled The Duality Of Diva With Mariah Carey, Meghan talks with the pop superstar about the ‘complexities surrounding the ‘diva” and the negative connotations associated with the word.
Carey tells Meghan: ‘I’m MC, you can call me Mimi, you can call me Mariah, whatever you want.’ The duchess began the conversation by asking the name of Carey’s dogs – Cha Cha and Muttley P Gore Jackson.
Last Tuesday she used episode one of Archetypes with Serena to take a veiled swipe at life in the Royal Family. She also recounted her horror at a time a small ‘fire’ broke out in son Archie’s room during a tour of South Africa.
The then-four-month-old was not in the room at the time that a heater began to smoke but it left duchess ‘shaken’ and ‘in tears’, she told her friend. Despite her upset, she said she was forced to continue with the couple’s official engagements.
On Monday, in a 6,400-word magazine article to promote the podcast, the Duchess of Sussex made a series of apparent swipes at the royals, warning she could ‘say anything’ now that she has left the Firm.
Meghan, 41, even suggested Prince Harry felt he had ‘lost’ his father over his decision to quit his public duties. But in an extraordinary clarification last night, allies of the couple said the duchess had actually been referring to the breakdown of her relationship with her own father.
Meghan told The Cut magazine: ‘Harry said to me, ‘I lost my dad in this process.’ It doesn’t have to be the same for them as it was for me, but that’s his decision.’
A source close to Prince Charles said he would be saddened if Harry felt their relationship was lost, adding: ‘The Prince of Wales loves both his sons.’
In further shock claims, Meghan said the couple felt forced to leave Britain because ‘just by existing, we were upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy’, while Harry, 37, made his own jibe at the royals, saying: ‘Most people that I know and many of my family, they aren’t able to work and live together.’
And the duchess also claimed a South African member of the cast of the West End production of The Lion King told her: ‘When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.’
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
By Tom Leonard for the Daily Mail
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.
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’
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.
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