We just discussed one of the exclusive clips from the ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey – the clip was of Harry getting emotional about how his mother was harassed by the press throughout her adult life. Harry and the ITV documentary draw parallels between the harassment Diana faced and the harassment Meghan faces now. As I said, there are significant parallels to be drawn. But as I’ve also said a few times now, I think it’s the wrong fight to make the smear campaign against Meghan JUST about “press treatment” or “press bullying.” That’s part of it, of course. But it’s also just a racism, anti-Americanism and sexism, and let’s not forget that it’s not ALL coming from the press. It’s coming from inside the palace too, you know? Which is enough to make me feel helpless on behalf of the Sussexes, so imagine how they feel. That’s exactly what happened during this ITV documentary – Tom Bradby asked Meghan how she’s dealt with all of this bulls–t.
World Exclusive; Meghan tells me of the intense pressures of a life in the spotlight and the toll it has taken on her behind the scenes. pic.twitter.com/tpmeomj5UV
— tom bradby (@tombradby) October 18, 2019
She’s truly fighting back tears as she spoke, saying: “Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging. And then when you have a newborn, you know. And especially as a woman, it’s a lot… So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed. It’s um…yeah. I guess, also thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m okay, but it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.” When asked if she’s “not really okay” and whether there’s really been a struggle, she says “yes.”
I could write a diatribe about how women of color are all too often put in the position of having to defend their own humanity, especially when powerful people and powerful structures abuse them and marginalize them. But I won’t write that diatribe because a million people can do it better than me. I will say this: this documentary seems to be a change of tack for the Sussexes. After trying to handle the smear campaign by ignoring it or using People Magazine to change the narrative, it’s like Harry and Meghan have decided (over the past month) to directly address it. And that’s fascinating to me.
Update: Here’s a YouTube version:
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red and Backgrid.