Meghan Markle may not be much of an actress, but she certainly is not without influence.
She has pretty much neutered her husband, Prince Harry, an Afghanistan veteran and sixth in the line of succession to the English crown. When she unleashed claims of racism by the royal family in an interview this week with Oprah, which some critics argued were unsubstantiated, she got renowned British journalist Piers Morgan canned after he defended the royal family on the air.
Actually, Morgan quit, but he did so after Markle filed a complaint with the British government over Morgan’s claims that he didn’t believe what she had told Oprah.
Now, the backlash against Markle’s comment has prompted the head of a leading British journalism organization to resign, and for the group to proclaim itself racist.
On the latest of the Meghan mayhem, Ian Murray was executive director of the Society of Editors, which represents 400 British journalists – was being the operative word.
The controversy came in addition to Markle’s comments, in which she also claimed to have felt suicidal by the way she was treated within Buckingham Palace.
Prince Harry told Oprah that he blamed the British tabloid media for driving him and his spouse from Britain, because of its “racism” toward her.
In response, the Society in a statement said, “The UK media is not bigoted and will not be swayed from its vital role holding the rich and powerful to account following the attack on the press by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors, in comments attributed to him, added, “It is not acceptable for the Duke and Duchess to make such claims without providing any supporting evidence. If it is simply the case the Sussexes feel that the press by questioning their actions and commenting on their roles when working as Royals funded by the taxpayer were being racist then they are mistaken.”
He further stated, “In the case of Meghan Markle and her engagement and marriage to Prince Harry there was universal supporting coverage in the UK media which reflected the warmth shown to the couple by the British people. But that warmth could not and should not mean the press should be expected to refuse to report, investigate and comment on the couple’s lifestyle and actions.
Murray also said, “The UK media has a proud record of calling out racism and also being at the forefront of campaigns to support mental health awareness, another of the issues raised by the couple.
“It is also unreasonable for the Duke and Duchess to conflate the legitimate coverage provided by the edited and regulated UK media with the wild west of social media. It is strange indeed, that the couple has attacked the UK media previously for alleged intrusion into their private lives yet have opened up on several occasions to media in the US, the latest event being yesterday’s interview with Oprah Winfrey which will play to a worldwide audience.”
Murray concluded, “The UK media has never shied away from holding a spotlight up to those in positions of power, celebrity or influence. If sometimes the questions asked are awkward and embarrassing, then so be it, but the press is most certainly not racist.“
That was Monday, the day after the Oprah interview.
By Wednesday, Murray was out, having canceled himself.
“While I do not agree that the Society’s statement was in any way intended to defend racism, I accept it could have been much clearer in its condemnation of bigotry and has clearly caused upset,” Murray said in a second statement.
“As executive director, I lead the Society and as such must take the blame and so I have decided it is best for the board and membership that I step aside so that the organization can start to rebuild its reputation.”
In the interim between his remarks, nearly 170 the Society’s journalists “of color” issued their own open letter, saying they “deplore and reject” Murray’s defense of the industry.
Markle’s comments, they wrote, “reflect the depressingly familiar reality of how people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are portrayed by the UK press on a daily basis.”
“The Society of Editors should have used the comments by the Sussexes to start an open and constructive discussion about the best way to prevent racist coverage in future, including through addressing lack of representation in the UK media, particularly at a senior level,” the letter continued.
“The blanket refusal to accept there is any bigotry in the British press is laughable, does a disservice to journalists of color, and shows an institution and an industry in denial.”
In other words, the Society’s own members asserted that the groupo itself was racist, as is segments of the British media.
Interestingly, the Society’s critics said nothing about how the U.K. media, especially the tabloids, savage white politicians and celebrities.
Nonetheless, The Daily Mail, which leans conservative, noted of the Meghan interview, “Headlines shown on screen during the Oprah interview to paint British media coverage as hostile and ‘racist’ were mocked up by the production company, often edited to remove context – and a third of them came from foreign media.”
The last observation referred to the fact that 11 of the roughly 30 supposedly racist images of media headlines shown during Oprah’s session with the Duke and Duchess came from American and Australian media. Undoubtedly, the wokesters will come for them next.