The news broke about the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ Netflix deal on Wednesday, just before noon on the East Coast. I still love that they got to control the information: the story broke on the New York Times and in the trade papers, like Deadline and Variety. Even though I highlighted some of the negative reactions from royal reporters/commentators like Dan Wootton and Richard Palmer, it did feel like the news genuinely shocked many in the British media. They were shocked into silence for nearly 24 hours before they settled on some new talking points, basically.
Before the Netflix deal, Harry and Meghan were pathetic fools coasting through LA on their tenuous connections to Oprah and Tyler Perry (and still likely being bankrolled by Prince Charles!). Now, with this Netflix deal, what’s the new narrative? Netflix was only interested in the Sussexes because they’re “royal.” That’s what Piers Morgan claimed. But I wasn’t actually expecting this epic Daily Mail piece, which reads as hilariously out-of-touch with the way Hollywood (as an industry) actually operates. Like, “massively bitchy royal reporting” doesn’t lend itself to actual analysis of the Netflix business model. The Daily Mail doesn’t care – they’re desperate to simply say ANYTHING negative about the Sussexes. Some highlights:
Oh no, the Sussexes are naive!! Public relations expert Mark Borowski said today the couple had put a lot of pressure on themselves to succeed. He told MailOnline: ‘An old Hollywood friend of mine once told me you can never have too big a hit. But you have got to manage expectations. When you switch on the hype machine you have got to deliver. If it’s something that lets people down it’s going to backfire. If you pull it apart, who wouldn’t want Harry and Meghan – it’s huge publicity for Netflix. But for Harry and Meghan, they just understand this media circus. They have been naïve. This is a money-raising exercise. They have got this inferiority complex they are going to have to come back cap in hand to the Royal household. It all sounds great, but what have you got? What names are attracted, what is the first project? It’s like someone in the pub saying ‘I am going to start making productions for Netflix.’
More from Borowski: ‘This is incredibly dangerous and overhyped, they have got no chance to fail, they have got to succeed. If they lose they have got a lot of egg on their face. For Harry and Meghan, this whole shooting match that they get involved with, it heaps a lot of pressure on them. They are looking for attention all the time. On this occasion I think they may have overstepped the mark. The proof is obviously in the pudding. It’s going to be very difficult, hits are very hard to come by. How many Downton Abbeys, The Crowns and Ordinary Peoples are there? They are from British producers who will tell you that you have got to have a few flops to make before you get a hit. This is a naïve double-act, who are living on hype.’
Ingrid Seward chimed in too: Royal expert Ingrid Seward said: ‘This proves it’s not what you can do, it is who you are. It’s very nice for them to be able to just step into that. I imagine Prince Charles will be relieved as they will be off his payroll now, and the British public will be relieved because they can pay back what they owe now on Frogmore Cottage, so it’s a win-win situation.’
Who is Mark Borowski and is he a Piers Morgan fever dream?? I mean, the grasping at straws is a sight to behold. “We have this amazing Netflix deal,” and then the reaction is “You’re so naive! You might be successful and that would be bad, because reasons! What happens if one of your projects isn’t super-popular, THEN WHAT.” Jesus Christ. The beauty of Netflix is that they don’t release much information about which projects were the most watched or whatever. And Netflix has billions to spend to churn out new content, and guess what? Tons of Netflix subscribers WILL seek out the stuff produced by Meghan and Harry simply because their names are attached. Which is what Netflix was always banking on, nothing more and nothing less.
Basically, the Daily Mail just wanted to put Harry & Meghan’s names with these kinds of words and phrases: hype machine, backfire, money raising exercise, pressure, dangerous, naive. These dumbasses are really losing their f–king minds and it’s a sight to behold.
And Ingrid Seward is such a giant B, oh my God.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.