Latifah takes on the Royal Interview.
Y’all, I dunno what happened this morning, but I sent over the wrong Hot Goss. My sincere apologies for depriving you of an urgently important edition of tea!!!
The Gossiest Goss
[Trigger warning: mention of suicide]
It's 10:14PM on a Sunday night and I am writing this morning's ~*Hot Goss*~ column to you the night before, directly after Oprah Winfrey's interview with Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle because it absolutely must be done. This is fresh and hot off the griddle folks. Barely any hyperlinks! So you're going to have to trust me on this one.
I'd like to start by talking about what an absolute masterclass in interviewing Oprah was the entire time. I know we all know that she isn't new to this, but The Oprah Winfrey Show has been off the air for several years now and it was a nice reminder of how much Oprah is able to draw out of her interviewees while still injecting emotion and compassion into their conversations without feeling like she's trying to sway you into feeling one way or another. And for a topic as loaded as what Harry and Meghan were going to discuss last night, that balance was absolutely necessary. I had to watch the first half of the interview on mute with subtitles on and I never once felt like I was missing out on anything due to Oprah's skilled and detailed methods of following up on Meghan and Harry's answers. It was also noteworthy to me that Meghan was given the bulk of the interview's time to speak after having had to maintain her silence for a few years now -- with Harry only being brought on in the final 30-45 minutes of the two-hour special to serve as the death knell for the Firm's bullshit.
Honestly, a lot of what was shared last night are not entirely new things if you've been following the Sussex Saga of the last two years. The biggest revelations to me were the fact that the Firm couldn't give a f*ck about Harry and Meghan's safety and security, even after the (racist) attacks started ramping up, and that the Firm contemplated denying Harry and Meghan's son, Archie, the title of 'prince' because they or someone was concerned about "how he would look like" due to the genetics of his mixed race, half-Black mother. Everything else that was shared for, for me, a reinforcement of all the coverage we've seen of the Sussexes and their relationship with the British Royal Family these last several years.
For example, there have been many reports, even in the last year alone, of Harry and William's strained relationship to the point where they are currently no longer on speaking terms. I noticed last night that in the first hour and a half of the interview, only coming up towards the end of the special with Harry describing their relationship as needing "space and time" and that they are on "very different journeys." That was extremely telling to me, especially given how generally positive the couple mostly referred to Kate whenever she came up in the conversation, and to me, that lends credence to the theories that a lot of the leaks and vicious media stories about the Sussexes have come from the Cambridges' press office. I also now believe that William may have been the one to prod Harry about Archie's looks while Meghan was pregnant with their son, insinuating that there would be a problem of "image" should the child come out dark-skinned and noticeably Black. This, however, is my own personal tin-foil hat theory: Harry refused to give any details of the conversation even after Oprah asked him to, but the offering of this information did suggest it was a conversation had with a family member who was close enough to Harry to ask him questions of the sort -- and directly after Harry explained how he had tried educating some of his immediate family members on unconscious bias and racism, only to be rebuffed.
Meghan also shared that as a member of the royal family, she at one point contemplated ending her life because of the daily onslaught of abuse hurled at her by the British press. She went through institutional channels to seek help but was told that nothing could be done. Meghan herself could not take steps to protect her wellbeing as she had turned over her legal documents (passport, driver's license, etc) to the Palace per protocol. Harry too tried seeking help for his wife after she shared what she was going through with him but the overall lack of support, both institutional and personal, was the factor that led to the couple ultimately deciding to step away as senior members of the royal family.
It was a painfully honest and revelatory interview, and I'm sure we can expect to see the royal rota bleating about it and taking quotes out of context for the next several days or even weeks. Honestly, I am glad that the Sussexes found love and freedom in each other. I saw two very hurt people speaking for two hours last night, but in that hurt and pain is a genuine love for each other that transcends jewels, riches, titles, and social statuses. Both Harry and Meghan seem to be deeply protective of each other, with Harry crediting Meghan for opening his eyes to the cage he was born into and lived in for many decades without realizing. It was sweet and it was heart wrenching, and I truly hope they continue to live long, beautiful, prosperous, and joyous lives in the face of hate and contempt.