Opinion: The backlash to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Oprah interview was disturbing


Credit: Courtesy of Flickr user carobax

WSPN’s Sophia Oppenheim discusses her opinion on how Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were treated after their interview with Oprah.

“The Little Mermaid” was my favorite movie as a six-year-old. To me, the movie was just the story of a red-headed mermaid who lived in a hidden cave and was friends with a flounder and a crab. To Meghan Markle, however, there was a completely different meaning. She described it as the story of a woman who wanted to be with a prince but had to lose her voice to do so. She then said that was exactly what happened to her when she married Prince Harry.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an interview on Sunday, March 7. They discussed the reasons the couple left their royal duties as well as issues of suicide and racism. However, even with the awful way that Meghan and Harry claimed they were treated by the royal family, thousands of people left hate comments on posts all over news Instagram accounts such as E! News, People Magazine, the New York Times and many more. Many people believe that Meghan was just acting and trying to get in the public eye. I find these comments disturbing and inappropriate for multiple reasons.

First, an overview of the interview. It started with Markle and Oprah talking alone. Markle said she felt unprotected by the royal family. Even after they promised her that they would protect her from the fake news from U.K. tabloids, Markle still felt that the royal family was more willing to protect other members of the family over her and her son, Archie, which leads to another huge aspect of the controversy. Markle shared that the color of Archie’s skin when he was born was brought up as a “problem” with older members of the royal family (she did not directly identify who). She also shared that she had become suicidal and told Harry that she no longer wanted to be alive.

Prince Harry later joined Markle, confirming this story by sharing that he was scared and didn’t know what to do. When the couple brought this issue up with members of his family, they said they were not allowed to get Meghan help. He also shared that he and his father are not currently speaking. Prince Harry stated that his father and his brother are still trapped within the royal family’s unethical rules. The couple also mentioned that they wanted to still practice their royal duties from a distance, but after moving out of the country, their privileges were revoked and no more security was provided for them.

What brought me to look at the situation more closely were the comments left on posts by multiple different news platforms. Comments ranged from multiple paragraphs of how Meghan’s feelings were all an act to some less inventive ones: vomiting emojis. Many people asserted that Meghan should have known what she was getting into and that she put herself in a bad situation with the royals. Some said that they were surprised so many people fell for the act. The list goes on and on with thousands of posts on every platform almost completely filled with hate comments.

This interview seems to uncover multiple characteristics of the royal family that the public has never seen. The couple shared that the color of Archie’s skin was going to be an issue and that it might cost him his royal protection. This was extremely important to the couple because, without that protection, the safety of their child could be at risk. The fact that a member of the royal family had to share their concerns about the skin color of their child is disturbing. Also, I find it incredibly sad that so many people left comments on social media posts saying that the royal couple was lying about this.

Everyone should be able to share what they think happened, no matter how far-fetched. However, in this situation, I think it’s incredibly sad how many people left hate comments after Markle came out and shared that she had been so mentally ill and that she was scared to be left alone because she might try and hurt herself. I am not sure how people find it okay to openly bash someone who struggled and was mentally ill. If they truly believe she was acting, do they really think she would lie about being suicidal as well?

Some people that commented did have the same reaction as me. It doesn’t matter if Markle knew what she was getting into when she married into the royal family. She should not be bashed for wanting an out and not wanting to lose her husband in the process. Many believe that Harry did not want to leave, obviously looking past the multiple times where Harry mentioned that the rest of his family is still trapped.

I think that no one should have to struggle, especially if Harry and Meghan are unlikely to inherit the throne. If they are happier now living in Los Angeles, that’s all that matters. If this was a random family where one member was suicidal because the family was keeping them locked up and refusing them to receive treatment, would people react the same way?

This situation that Harry and Meghan were put into was very difficult and the interview made it even worse. The couple was not told any questions they would be asked prior and they were not being paid, but they still agreed to it. Unfortunately, it just caused more backlash and is going to promote worse publicity for the couple. I hope that these people randomly commenting on these posts stop the verbal abuse and let the couple live their life with Archie and their new baby girl on the way.