First Woman President?: Meghan Markle May Raise Her Voice Through Politics While Her Critics Lose Theirs

Posted: Mar 13, 2021 10:58 PM
First Woman President?: Meghan Markle May Raise Her Voice Through Politics While Her Critics Lose Theirs

Source: AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

It's been less than a week since CBS first aired Oprah's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Sunday, March 7. The network even changed their evening programming to air the interview for a second time on Friday. A lot more has happened in between and following those airings, with updates continuing to pour in so quickly it can be hard to keep track. 

The latest news is that Meghan Markle may run for president. The interview makes all the more sense then, as a way to catapult the former actress even further into the spotlight and going all the way in launching her political career.

There had been mentions in the past that Meghan was interested in politics. The story really gained traction on Saturday though, as the rumors increased thanks to tweets and suggestions made to the press.

The Daily Mail said a "senior Labour figure... with strong links to Washington--claimed to" them that Meghan "was networking among senior Democrats with a view to building a campaign and fundraising teams for a tilt at the US Presidency."

While the Mail noted that "a source close to the Duchess of Sussex declined to comment," the outlet wasn't fooled. Besides, just because a source "declined to comment" doesn't mean Meghan is denying the claims.

On Friday, however, the results from a YouGov poll of British respondents found that Prince Harry and Meghan's favorability ratings, especially when it comes to the latter, have tanked. 

Then again, though, Meghan would be running for office to represent Americans. 

One YouGov poll, conducted on March 8 with American respondents focused more so on "sympathy" and "race." Some results included:

  • On the "From what you have read and heard, how much sympathy, if any, do you have for Harry and Meghan?" question, 22 percent said "A lot," with 25 percent answering "A fair amount," and 24 percent saying "None at all."
  • On the "How much of a role do you believe Meghan’s race played in how she was treated by the Royal Family?" question, 42 percent answered "A major role."
  • On the "Meghan says that ahead of the birth of her son, Archie, there were ’concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born’ from within the royal family. Do you think this is racist, or not?" question, a strong majority of 67 percent responded "It is racist."

The site also released survey results on March 12 that when it comes to "Based on what you have read or heard, do you believe the British Royal Family is or is not racist?” 36 percent answered "They are racist." That being said, 32 percent answered "Don't know" and 13 percent chose "N/A - I haven't heard anything about this."

Time will tell it looks like, though it will for sure remain interesting to see how British versus American respondents feel about Meghan. If Meghan does run for office, though, and wins, Americans will have more of a reason to have an opinion. 

Whether or not Meghan does run isn't the entirety of this saga; and it's hardly the most consequential one. Whatever journey this road may lead Meghan to, she's not the only one affected. 

Piers Morgan resigned from ITV's "Good Morning Britain" on Tuesday, the same day he had stormed off set after disagreeing with a weatherman on Meghan Markle. His comments on Monday drew sharp reaction, including where he said “Who did you go to? What did they say to you? I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she said, Meghan Markle,” Morgan said on the show. “I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report.” He had been speaking about Meghan saying she did not receive help from the Royal "institution" for her mental health concerns, including suicidal thoughts.

On Tuesday, after returning from storming off he said:

“When we talked about this yesterday, I said, as an all encompassing thing, I don’t believe what Meghan Markle is saying generally in this interview and I still have serious concerns about the veracity of a lot of what she said. But let me just state for the record on my position on mental illness and on suicide,” he said. “These are clearly extremely serious things and should be taken extremely seriously and if someone is feeling that way they should get the treatment and the help they need every time. And if they belong to an institution like the Royal family and they go and seek that help they should absolutely be given it.”

“It’s not for me to question if she felt suicidal, I am not in her mind and that is for her to say,” he continued. “My real concern was a disbelief frankly… that she went to a senior member of the Royal household and told them she was suicidal and was told she could not have any help because it would be a bad look for the family. If that is true a) that person should be fired and b) the Royal family have serious questions that need to be answered.”

Even while resigning, Morgan still tweeted his commitment to free speech. The complaints received over Monday's comments earned Morgan an investigation from UK media regulator Ofcom. Meghan herself had complained

Morgan isn't the only one being dealt with in such a manner, however. Sharon Osbourne tweeted a simple defense of Morgan, also on Tuesday. 

On Wednesday, on CBS' The Talk, where she is a regular co-host, Osbourne was subjected to a barrage of questions about race and racism. The exchange mostly took place between her and co-host Sheryl Underwood. 

Coming off of a simple tweet from Tuesday, Osbourne on Friday tweeted a more lengthy apology.

She had quite the perspective to share with Variety:

“I blame the network for it,” Osbourne told Variety on Friday night. “I was blindsided, totally blindsided by the whole situation. In my 11 years, this was the first time I was not involved with the planning of the segment.”

Osbourne says about eight minutes before the show began on Wednesday, a showrunners called and ask her if it was OK if they asked about Morgan. “I said, ‘Sure, they can ask me whatever.’ But then I get on there, I say my piece and Sheryl [Underwood] turns around straight-faced, looks at me and is reading from a card with questions. I was just so hurt, caught off guard and stunned by what I was being asked and not prepared. I was honestly in shock. I felt like I was in front of a firing squad. I felt like a lamb held out for slaughter. … They had me there for 20 minutes.”

When they went to break, Osbourne says she “begged them to stop, to please change subjects.”

Her heated exchange with Underwood went viral.

“I’m a big girl. I’m a professional,” she said. “However CBS blindsided me. I don’t know why they did it to me. The showrunners told me it came from executives to do this to me.”

CBS would not comment further to Variety except for:

A rep for CBS declined to comment on Osbourne’s latest remarks, but referred Variety to the network’s statement released on Friday afternoon: “We are committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace. All matters related to the Wednesday episode of “The Talk” are currently under internal review.”

Tweets and retweets by Underwood and reporting from outlets such as Showbiz Cheat Sheet don't seem to be granting Osbourne much grace.

Morgan who doubled down on what he's said about Meghan, tweeted "this is where we've reached."

If she really does want to be a future politician and lead by example, perhaps Meghan can use her platform to encourage conversations where people can actually hear rather than fear each other, and offer that grace. We all need it, after all.