LMAO, the Sussexes could have made a lucrative deal with streaming failure Quibi


It’s early days and I’ve already seen some hilariously bad takes on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix deal. Most of those bad takes are just the predictable salty whines from self-styled royal commentators. But it took this Page Six story to actually make me laugh. This is not commentary and it’s not really an opinion piece. It’s just industry gossip and it’s amazing. You know how everyone has spent the last six months dunking on the failure of Quibi, the short-form streaming failure created by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman? Well, Quibi wanted the Sussexes. OH MY GOD.

Before the dramatic news broke on Wednesday that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are becoming Hollywood producers by signing a multiyear deal with Netflix, sources told Page Six that other entertainment startups were angling to be in business with the ex-royals. Insiders told us that power players Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg made a visit to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in a bid to get them to join their struggling service Quibi.

“Meg and Jeff actually went to see Harry and Meghan to get them to sign … but it’s no surprise they went for Netflix,” the source said. Netflix has high-profile deals with Barack and Michelle Obama, plus celebs including Beyoncé and Leo DiCaprio.

One insider said that Harry and Meghan have been taking all sorts of meetings and pitches since they moved to LA. The former royals will reportedly launch a yet-to-be-named production company to make documentaries, docu-series, features, scripted shows and children’s programming for Netflix. Reports said that they may also appear on-camera in some projects.

But in true Hollywood fashion, some were already skeptical, or paranoid, of the deal’s impact. “I want to hear what the Obamas have to say, they have a track record,” said one showbiz vet. “I’m not sure I want to hear what Meghan and Harry have to say.” A veteran film producer told us, “Everyone’s a producer! Getting movies made is hard enough — now I have to compete with the Obamas and Prince Harry?”

[From Page Six]

If Katzenberg and Whitman approached them with a potential deal, it would have been incredibly lucrative for the Sussexes, because that was Quibi’s whole business model: they just threw huge money at A-listers and hoped that they could buy their way out of a bad concept which no one wanted. This, to me, proves that Harry and Meghan are not looking for just a paycheck – if they were looking to make gobs of money with little actual work, they would have signed up with Quibi. The fact that they went to Netflix means that they really want to work and develop some real projects.

Members of the royal family and politicians are pictured arriving at the Commonwealth Day Service

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and WENN.

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14 Responses to “LMAO, the Sussexes could have made a lucrative deal with streaming failure Quibi”

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  1. TheOriginalMia says:

    I just love her Commonwealth outfit. Simply gorgeous. As for a potential Quibi deal, I’m glad they skipped on that too. I haven’t seen one thing that makes me want to fork over money for a subscription. Not even HM could convince me. Every deal Netflix has made makes me glad I still have a subscription.

    • Steph says:

      Quibi actually has some really good shows on it. I’d watch it on the train if I was still commuting every day.

      The format and the app doesn’t translate well to being chrome cast, so that’s why I don’t subscribe anymore.

  2. Snuffles says:

    The key take away I got from this article is that people were coming to THEM and not the other way around. I have no doubt Harry and Meghan had people lined up around the corner waiting to pitch to them.

    I’m also convinced that Harry and Meghan knew exactly what they wanted and were seeing who gave them the best offer on their terms.

    I’m sure streaming services like Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, NBC’s Peacock, Hulu, YouTube and Apple were all pitching.

  3. BlueSky says:

    I can spend all day on Netflix just watching documentaries. Netflix has a proven track records with A list talent. I’m glad they went with them.

  4. AndaPanda says:

    I’m curious if anyone subscribed to Quibi and what you thought. As far as H&M I am interested in what they have to say, not as much as the Obamas, but still interested.

    • Snuffles says:

      I did. I lasted about a week before I dropped it. I watched a few episodes of “Chrissy’s Court”. I skimmed through what they were offering but just couldn’t wrap my head around the concept. None of it seemed worth it. I mean it took me ages to finally give in to Disney+ and it was Meghan’s Elephant documentary that tipped the scales for me. Now I’m glad I did it because I got Hamilton and Beyoncé’s Black is King. I’m rewatching The Simpsons and have watched The Princess Diaries a disturbing number of times!

  5. MA says:

    Never heard of Quibi until now…. which proves the Sussexes’ impact. Anything even remotely associated with them gets publicity

    • Myra says:

      That was my first question, too. Wth is a Quibi? Also I did get a year’s subscription of Disney because of the Sussexes. I remember before that thinking I wouldn’t get more than one streaming service.

      • Becks1 says:

        Quibi was the app with Reese W, Chrissy Teigen and a few others – it was meant to be little 5 minute videos (stories? shows? talk shows?) – the kind of thing you could watch while waiting in line at the store or something.

        It debuted at the beginning of the pandemic I think,when no one was at the store, so it just went over like a lead balloon (I think it would have failed anyway.)

      • Myra says:

        Thanks Becks1. Yeah, it doesn’t sound like it would have been a success. Maybe they can retry again in a few years

  6. sara says:

    Quibi was such a mess – for so many reasons. They also were able to compensate their celebrities/actors so much because they specifically underpaid the crew, using a union loophole that shows under 20 minutes don’t qualify for typical pay-rates of 30 or 60 minute shows. Which is ridiculous – very good the sussexes made a different choice (not that netflix is perfect, but no point in wasting this opportunity on Quibi)

  7. Becks1 says:

    Quibi……LOL. Well, they tried, right?

    I think H&M are going to produce very interesting content; I imagine at first some of the docuseries and such will be directly related to their work (Harry’s work in Botswana with elephants, Meghan’s work pre-royal family, Invictus Games, etc) and then I imagine they’ll expand from there.

    Having a production company doesn’t mean that they will be in every single thing produced, or that every single thing is going to about them in some way.

  8. BnLurkN4eva says:

    Thank goodness they passed on that if it’s true. Better to go with tried and true and given their ethical approach to things I’m sure when they learned of some of the business practices, they weren’t down with that. Netflix is not perfect, but they are more likely to be a platform where the producers can control the practices of their own shows.

  9. molly says:

    “I’m not sure I want to hear what Meghan and Harry have to say.” A veteran film producer told us.
    Thanks for the insight, middle-aged, white man.