Oprah: Privacy is the right to not be intruded upon, ‘privacy doesn’t mean silence’

HMS Queen Elizabeth

As you watch The Me You Can’t See, you can feel the narrative and the conversation Oprah and Prince Harry want to have, and it’s a big conversation. It’s not a conversation based on a single question with a single yes or no answer. It’s about how the human mind works and processes trauma. They show how someone with a mental illness can heal and function, and what can be done to process grief, anger, fear, anxiety and depression. The show is edited around a somewhat recent-feeling conversation between Oprah and Harry as they discuss mental health and what they’ve both learned from their own journeys. It’s honestly an interesting series just because I’m not really aware of anything else like it on network, cable or a premium streaming service: a nuanced conversation, with no real “answers,” about mental health.

From a gossip level, the collaboration between Oprah and Harry has been shockingly fruitful. Oprah knows the game, she knows what she’s doing and she understands the power that she has. When she’s repeatedly backing Meghan and Harry, she’s lending them a level of support which they frankly never had in the UK. When she goes on CBS This Morning or the Today Show and defends them, it’s incredibly significant for a lot of people. Oprah was on the Today Show on Friday to talk about the show, and she was asked about the criticism of “why is Harry talking so much if he asked for privacy???” People say that like it’s some kind of “gotcha.” It’s not. Oprah blasted it too:

On privacy: “You know, I ask for privacy, and I’m talking all the time. So I think being able to have a life that you are not intruded upon by photographers, or people flying overhead, or invading your life, is what every person wants and deserves — to not to be intruded and invaded upon. That’s what people are missing. Privacy doesn’t mean silence.”

On the Sussexes’ regrets: “They have not shared any regrets with me,” Winfrey said. “I understood what had happened to them, and I wanted the rest of the world to come away being able to answer the question, ‘Why did they leave?’ And I think by the time that interview was done, people understood.”

[From Today]

Yeah. Privacy doesn’t mean silence. People equating privacy with silence are showing their hands: those are the people who never wanted Harry and Meghan to tell their stories, ever. They wanted to abuse, subjugate, demean, denigrate and smear Meghan and Harry and then silence and erase them. I also laughed at “they have not shared any regrets with me” – no sh-t. The Sussexes’ interview plus The Me You Can’t See is the one-two knockout. Harry was like “oh you’re still blaming Meghan for everything, here, let me tell you what was really going on, in my own f–king words, and Meghan isn’t even around.”

Prince Harry hosts the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021

Photos courtesy of CBS, NBC, Apple.

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56 Responses to “Oprah: Privacy is the right to not be intruded upon, ‘privacy doesn’t mean silence’”

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  1. Cecilia says:

    The same people who believe that the royals are perfect, are the same ones that wanted meghan and harry to stay silent forever. I saw a lot of panicking from that crew right before the oprah interview and i couldn’t help but ask myself “why?”. If you so solemnly believe that the royals didn’t so anything wrong, and tried to accommodate h&m as much as they could why are you so scared of meghan and harry telling their story? Lmao its because even they know that the couple has heen treated atrociously behind closed doors.

    • North of Boston says:

      And not just behind closed doors … right out in the open too!

    • Whats'right says:

      My thoughts on this issue: I think that the British People need to “feel” that the RF is perfect and mysterious in order for them to “feel” comfortable with a family by birthright ONLY is at the top of the food chain for LIFE. A family that the taxpayers pay to live an unbelievable life of privilege. Harry points this out repeatedly when he says he is told to “just play the game” Can you imagine if we had to pay for the lifestyle of the Trump family for LIFE. Praise Trump, jr and Ivanka, call them HRH and bow/curtsy to them….it’s madness!

      • Jais says:

        That’s really interesting to think about and omfg if we had to pay for the trump family fur life!!!!!! The only way to make that acceptable is, as you say, to make the family a mysterious blank slate. Even then, it’s barely acceptable.

      • LahdidahBaby says:

        I wouldn’t mind paying for the Trump family for life if it was life in prison.

      • lemontwist says:

        @LahdidahBaby LOL, I couldn’t agree more

      • Brielle says:

        But is the family really mysterious? Like we know about Harry’s indiscretions,Penny and Philip,Andrew is a pedophile,Margaret was a drunk,Anne was unfaithful ,Charles: it’s reality show narrated on newspapers …for me I see it as British ppl pay for them but they can also ridicule them,torture and mock them and they have just to endure and they hate that Harry escaped…

      • Golly Gee says:

        “The British people need to “feel” that the RF it’s perfect“
        This reminds me of Stephen Colbert doing his right wing pundit act on the Colbert Report. He knew something was right because he could “feel it in his gut“.
        Never underestimate people’s capacity to ignore the truth.

      • Teebee says:

        So true! In this age of so many reckonings, the idea of privilege, inequality, racism, sexism, et al co-existing with a world demanding more accountability and fairness does not bode well for any institution so associated with privilege and excess like the BRF. And I say, about time! The spaces between “classes” in most developed countries are widening, and that trajectory will not change without some serious restructuring. Don’t expect them to go quietly in the night, but I do think change is inevitable. It might have to take losing a whole generation raised on royal gaslighting, but I think faith and tolerance of institutions like theirs will continue to erode and the more they deny that the more stark their unsuitability and unsustainability will become.

  2. Amy Bee says:

    Hoda asked that question on behalf the royalists among her audience, Today show staff and contributors. Harry talking out about his experience in the Royal Family messes with Today’s bottomline and the fairytale narrative the show likes to promote when airing royal events.

    • Brielle says:

      I really didn’t like her questions about Harry and Meghan? Like did Harry was caught off guard about the things Meghan was sharing? Luckily Oprah responded well…

      • Nivz says:

        I don’t know much about Hoda or the show or which way they lean. But I think it’s good the question was asked, so it could be answered and addressed. Those of us without an irrational hatred of the Sussexes came to the same conclusion. This is a couple that plans, communicates with each other and are very in sync. Add to that, harry was probably sitting right there, off camera, as Meg spoke to Oprah alone. I wonder if the impression that he was caught off guard was down to editing?

      • Brielle says:

        I didn’t see when Harry was caught off guard…it was Honda asking the question to Oprah( like are some of Meghan’s responses took Harry off guard and that’s when Oprah responded that they are very in sync)..but you’re probably right that it was better addressed and answered.

    • Becks1 says:

      i get that there was SO MUCH in the interview and it was hard to include everything (the Oprah interview), but I wish they had included the segment where Meghan talked about privacy. She came out and said that they had never mentioned privacy, but then went on to explain how she just viewed it as sharing what you want to share when you want to share it – sharing one picture doesnt mean that person has access to your whole camera roll.

      So I think Oprah did a good job here of getting out that same point. Most celebrities want privacy in general, they want to be able to control when they are out there – hence why we see “pap strolls” or strategic leaks to the media or talks to People (and that’s for the celebs who are the most “out there,” there are many celebs that can go months without being seen in the press etc.) Even if Harry and Meghan said they did want to live private lives, it doesnt mean they’re asking for less than someone like Oprah asks for.

      • Brielle says:

        Exactly…including the part where Meghan explains the privacy part would have been great

  3. Eleonor says:

    Meghan and Harry want to be in charge of their stories, it’s not that difficult to understand, but the British Press, and a lot of people around the world don’t get it. Or don’t want to get it.

    • lanne says:

      They don’t want to get it. No one has a problem understanding that just because a person has an Instagram account, that doesn’t mean they are giving everyone a right to spy on their home, go through their trash, hack their cell phones. We all have the right to privacy. We understand that even celebrities have a say in what they share and what they don’t. For some reason, those rights don’t extend to Harry. They are certainly in place for William. I think some of the problem is the whole idea of the “spare.” There seems to be a feeling in the UK that the spare “belongs” to the people. Maybe it’s because of Diana—maybe it’s a lot of women casting themselves as stepmothers in absentia, potential mothers in law, or potential wives to a motherless child Harry.

      I know people didn’t feel that way with Andrew and Margaret, but Harry the Spare belongs to the people seems to be a thing in the UK. Maybe it’s the perfect storm of Harry losing Diana as a child, social media seeming to narrow the space between celebrity and the public, and Harry’s natural simpatico and charisma that make people feel they know him. The public funding of the royals may play a part as well. The interference of the media in Harry’s life would be considered wildly inappropriate had it been done to anyone else. This is the circumstance before Meghan even enters the picture.

      Thank god Harry and Meghan have the support of powerful people like Oprah. I don’t think their situation would be survivable without it. This protection also helps them blunt the power of the royal family, which I don’t believe is benevolent at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are royal courtiers having conversations with royal courtiers from places like UAE. We’ve seen what that royal family is capable of doing. Are the Brits capable of the same? Can we definitively say no?

      • Claire says:

        A+

      • Golly Gee says:

        It’s not just Harry. Tabloid media has invaded the privacy of and destroyed many lives, even driving Carolyn Flack to suicide. Even if their behavior is considered inappropriate, I’m guessing they have the goods on anyone who has the power to stop them – so they are allowed to go on. The difference between Harry and the rest of the royal family is that other members are either protected by the royal family or their lives aren’t money makers for the tabloids.

  4. Lauren says:

    Privacy means not having palace staff leak info or half-truths about you, not having drones flying above your property, not having family members sell you out, and not having media intrusion every second of the day. If people cannot understand this, is because they don’t want to.

  5. Imoverit says:

    Love how Oprah is using her platform. Privacy absolutely doesn’t equal silence.

    I hope there is some coverage on Oprah’s story here too..she has been through more than I could ever have imagined and somehow found a way to emerge a healthy, well balanced adult.

    • Maria says:

      I was wondering this too! Maybe she feels like she’s talked about her life enough in the past, but many people today may not be aware of the extent of trauma Oprah went through early in life. She could have a powerful voice in this series, & not just as the interviewer!

    • Christine says:

      I sure hope she does. There’s an entire generation who has grown up without the influence of her daily talk show. I am certain a lot of them have no idea how impressive Oprah really is, and how much she taught a lot of us about our own entitlement, before that was even a word in regular use.

      • Dl says:

        Oprah shares in the series. It is powerful and beautiful. I have watched one episode. I am still processing. Especially the depression that was shared. The black hole is real. Some days its draw is stronger than others. Hearing these stories gives me hope against the black hole. I hope that makes sense. This website has helped me so much in the last few years. I am crying as I type this. Thank you, all of you❤

      • Christine says:

        I am right there with you.

  6. Merricat says:

    The BM really does not present the country in an intelligent light—imagine having to be publicly schooled on such a basic matter by an American journalist. Lol. They’re either fools or jackholes. Nice choice.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      This exactly. Privacy is not hard the intention misuse of the word by the BM is obtuse

  7. Ginger says:

    The British press have no idea what privacy means. They think hacking phones and following a 16 year old around is normal.
    ( yes, the press followed Harry around when he was 16 )

    I am so proud of Harry for putting all of this out there. He really went there in the documentary and my level of respect for him is through the roof. The documentary was incredible and I think it will win a lot of awards.

    • SarahCS says:

      And hacking the voicemail of a murdered schoolgirl so police and her family thought she was alive past the point when she had been killed. There is no low they won’t try and dig past and in spite of the inquiries and noise that came from those nothing has changed. They are just mildly smarter about covering up their atrocious behaviour.

      • keroppi says:

        That is so horrible! I hadn’t heard of that story and I don’t know if I even want to know.

      • The Other Katherine says:

        Just in case anyone thinks what SarahCS says is an exaggeration, you can search on “Leveson inquiry Milly Dowler” and it’s all right there. And that was just one of the awful things Murdoch-owned outfits did.

  8. erni says:

    I know for sure that this is the 4th time Harry owning Sussexit (Corden, Oprah, Dax and this one). I’m sure he said that before too yet the narrative don’t change. I can’t even.. My God how stupid are BM, really??? I’m not sure how many more Harry need to talk about it until they leave Meghan the hell out of this false narrative.

    • Mich says:

      They aren’t stupid. They are mean and know that their readers (like my Trumper aunt) are stupid enough to believe everything they say.

    • HeatherC says:

      The BM aren’t stupid. But they count on their readers to be.

  9. DuchessL says:

    This level of openness on his life and what he went through before and after his mom’s death, before and after meghan, before and after leaving the RF, before and after doing the interview in march, doing interviews with and without meghan, continuously being backed by Oprah, who shared her story along with other celebrities and non celebrities with people around the globe with sensitivity for this cause is his absolute best protection. Well done, excellent plan and may you all heal well and be in peace.

  10. Seraphina says:

    Privacy does not mean silence – so very powerful. Just like silence does not mean acceptance.

    I said it before and I will say it again, this going to be groundbreaking on a whole different playing field. I went through therapy and in the midst of talking through my past I discovered little hangups I had due to some bad experiences. It felt so strange, and still does, to be free of some of them. They become a part of you and you think it’s normal. And I by no way have gone through anything like Harry or anyone else who has spoken on the show. Yes, the mind is vast and very unexplored and we don’t have a clue how it really works.

    So proud of how well Harry and Meghan are doing. May they continue to do good and help others. That is what being here is about.

  11. nicegirl says:

    So glad people are learning more about mental health now. I love the Sussexes.

  12. Powermoonchrystal says:

    Say it louder for the people in the back. I am always surprised at the amount and type of hate these 2 get. Even a quite liberal friend started talking badly about Meghan, and when that friend noticed that I was not about to just accept any “news” tinged with racism, that friend started jumping on Harry instead. Even if you don’t like them, I just don’t see any harm in what they are doing to warrant the very strong reactions (and expectations! “He should man up and stop criticizing the US”??? seems to be one of the latest complaints).

  13. Julia K says:

    When people say “quit talking, keep this in the family, don’t air dirty linen”, please know there is major shit to hide. One of many reasons some of us have had to remove ourselves from a toxic relationship.

    • PNWer says:

      Exactly. Privacy in a British family means don’t speak about all of the terrible things we are doing or have done to you. Stiff upper lip and all that. Such bullsh*t.

    • Meg says:

      Yep. I was told by my brother it was ‘disloyal to the family to acknowledge’ their abuse of me and it was ‘unforgivable’

  14. Jan says:

    The maker of Meghan’s T-shirt said her phone was ringing off the hook, with friends calling to say Meghan was wearing one of her T-shirts.
    Next the orders started pouring in from all over the World, she posted on her Instagram that she know Meghan is not going to see the message, but she is happy for the business.
    She don’t know how Meghan got the shirt, but this was not the first from her company, one of Archie’s shirts was given away by Meghan in South Africa.
    Welsh single mom living in England now, lstarted a T-shirt business to support herself.

  15. aquarius64 says:

    The British and Australian media have done nothing but make a mockery of Harry’s words for the past couple of days. The Windsors don’t like their treachery exposed all over the world by powerful advocate like Oprah. Oprah emphasizes what lightweights the BRF media minions are. You know things are bad when Uncle Gary is on Aussie TV extolling the virtues of Kate as the one to save the monarchy. The crisis managers are not doing their jobs.

    • Jan says:

      They can make all the jokes about Harry’s advocacy they want, thanks for the free publicity, it’s reaching people.

  16. Topaz says:

    I love how Oprah uses her platform to ensure more people understand what privacy means -freedom from unauthorized intrusion.
    May is Mental Health month, it is so important for people suffering in silence to know they are no alone in their struggle. Big applaud to everyone who shares their story and shine a light on the hidden extreme emotional trumoils.

  17. Thank you Oprah. As always, intelligent and articulate when you speak your truth.

  18. L4frimaire says:

    This whole privacy meaning invisibility and silence started with the UK press, specifically stalker Piers Morgan. This was when they said the details of Archie’s birth and christening would be private. He then said “ if you want privacy, go back to America “. After that, every time they didn’t disclose some detail, or want a camera in their face, the UK press started squealing about privacy and telling them they and the taxpayers owned them, so they owed them their private lives. So now they’re pissed that they no longer have access to the Sussexes, they, particularly Harry, are still visible and, more importantly, vocal, and they will speak for themselves to counter these false narratives. They want the Sussexes to go away and hide, and because they won’t do that, and they can no longer leak about them and exploit them the way they could in the UK, they harp on about this privacy concept that the Sussexes themselves never said. Look, Marie Antoinette never actually said “ let them eat cake”, but we say she does 200 plus years later. The press are trying to set a narrative and the more the Sussexes speak, the more shaky that false narrative gets.

  19. Curious says:

    what is so weird is not one member of the royal family is saying anything after harry emotional talks… its heart breaking to see not a soul from his family is standing by his side. or showing any understanding. my heart bleed for every human who have to through things like this. they was trying to kill his wife and unborn son . and not one of his family is speaking up. no comfort, no care, no love. its like a brainless , brain dead family..

    • Christine says:

      Agreed. That has been the most shocking to me. Not one of them has publicly supported either Harry or Meghan. Not one. They retain the right not to speak, but to take the added step of actively trying to shut THEM up? No.

  20. Feebee says:

    I’m 3/5ths through The Me You Can’t See and wee Fawzi just killed me. Some of the other stories are equally gut wrenching. What Harry is personally putting out is ‘wow’. If people don’t get it after this and probably before to be honest, they just not listening. And that’s on them. I’ll no longer engage. I get what the RF means in the UK/predominately England – but a lot of that ‘meaning’ is based on a fallacy.

    • Brielle says:

      Fawzi is phenomenal and resilient…ppl here in France hate refugees but ignore all they go through

  21. Meg says:

    Expecting abused people to stay silent feels like when people get mad at the #metoo movement that people should be quiet, & saying ‘well now i cant do anything!’ response. Theyre mad because their relinquishing power they once felt they had. Not only did they get to disregard your power to say no to sexual advances, they thought they could also silence you afterwards
    Its about control. for each of us, our lives are our experiences so we get to tell or not tell what we wish because its ours.

    • smlstrs says:

      Yes!!! And BLM too – so much of MAGA culture, now that I think about it, I hear a lot of, “Now I can’t do anything.” Also “Now I have to watch what I say” and it baffles me because … I always knew things I said could get me into trouble or at least have consequences… ? How does one grow up and think they can do / say anything they want? Most people I know learned that by first grade, bc if you didn’t come in knowing it, that’s what kindergarten was for… ?

  22. KT says:

    According to a British High Court Judge ‘selective disclosure is the essence of privacy’.
    This is now precedent in U.K. law.
    The press are really very reluctant to accept that for obvious reasons – half the fun for them is publishing the things people don’t want to disclose. That’s the game.