There were snide comments all around when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s upcoming interview with Oprah was announced this week. I saw a few royal reporters reference Meghan and Harry’s Netflix deal in a strained, obvious way, like “how dare H&M agree to an interview on network TV instead of Netflix.” Like, stalker much? Why do you care about their business deals again? OK! Magazine picked up on that thread and the lowest-tier American tabloid now claims that Netflix bosses are big mad that Harry and Meghan haven’t delivered any product in what, five months, and that Netflix is mad that H&M are going on CBS. First of all, they’re going on CBS because it’s network television and tens of millions of people will watch it and have access to it. Second of all, I’m guessing that Netflix is quite happy that there will be a 90-minute network television interview which will act as de facto free advertising for Netflix. Come on, how many times do you think H&M or Oprah will say “Netflix”?
Speaking of, the Times of London (via Page Six) had a story about how Oprah “courted” Harry & Meghan for three years for this interview.
Oprah Winfrey courted Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for three years to land her exclusive interview with the couple, it was reported Tuesday. While the 67-year-old talk show queen was described as a “friend of the couple” when she was a guest at their May 2018 royal wedding, she had only met Markle once before then — while first trying to land an interview, according to the Times of London.
She continued to play the “long game” and acted as the Duchess of Sussex’s mentor, even befriending her mother, Doria Ragland, when they moved to Oprah’s upscale California neighborhood last year, the UK Times said.
Winfrey’s series about mental health for Apple TV with Harry was seen by many royal insiders as a “canny move” to “keep the couple happy,” the report said.
The fact that Oprah would land the interview was long an “open secret in palace circles” — with Page Six noting speculation about it in January last year. But Monday’s formal announcement caught Buckingham Palace by surprise, with royal officials only learning about the finalized interview on Twitter, the report said.
Again, I’m continuously, deeply offended by the way British reporters are speaking about Oprah. They’re ascribing certain characteristics to Oprah to make her sound conniving, thirsty, desperate and like a third-rate, ambulance-chasing tabloid reporter. They have zero idea about Oprah’s elevated status in American culture. Frankly, Oprah doesn’t NEED Harry and Meghan. If anyone needs anyone, Harry and Meghan need Oprah to give this interview the “Oprah halo” of credibility. They wanted this done right and they wanted to be taken seriously, but they didn’t want to go with a more hard-newsy outlet like 60 Minutes, obviously. And besides all that, I would imagine that Meghan and Harry have been courted by all of the major names and outlets for their first post-Sussexit interview. I imagine the Today Show wanted them, Good Morning America, 20/20, Anderson Cooper, Ellen DeGeneres, Savannah Guthrie, Gayle King, et al. This kind of reporting (from the Times/Page Six) is meant to minimize Oprah and the Sussexes.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.