The industry that has sprung up around the hatred of Meghan Markle is an extraordinary development and I wonder where it has come from.
Since assorted RWNJs whined that they would not watch the Harry and Meghan documentary, I decided I had to watch it. What I saw was two people who seem more or less normal, allowing for the difficult and horrible circumstances of their respective upbringings. The fact that RWNJs whined about the show has probably convinced many people to watch it, as I was. It turned out that the first episode was Netflix’s biggest documentary debut ever. It appeared in the Top 10 TV lists in 85 countries1. So, it seems that if a company such as Netflix wants to have a hit series they need RWNJs to condemn it. It seems to have worked a treat this time.
Meghan Markle is no stranger to public harassment. She’s received it from the petulant, verminous Piers Morgan, members of the royal family, and people who were mortified that she wrote a children’s book. The level of hate she has faced, especially online, is astonishing. In late 2021, a report from Bot Sentinel, an analytical service that has previously looked into the right-wing discrediting of the 2020 US presidential election result, the spread of COVID-19 disinformation, and the racist abuse of England football players, began analysing the online hate towards Markle, focusing especially on Twitter. Bot Sentinel has revealed that not only was there a coordinated effort on Twitter to spread negative messages about her, but that harassment came from a small coordinated group of users. In fact, the analysis revealed that 70 percent of the hateful posts examined came from just 83 Twitter accounts which had an estimated reach of 17 million Twitter users2.
I used to think there were several reasons for the opprobrium and outright hatred directed at Markle. Firstly, she is American as was Wallis Simpson, the Duke of Windsor’s (former Edward VIII) wife; secondly, she is a divorcee, as was Wallis Simpson and is Camilla Parker-Bowles, thirdly, she has some black ancestry.
Much of the right-wing nutjobbery against Markle in Australia has come from Murdoch’s Sky News with such intellectual giants (sarcasm font) as Rita Panahi3, who purposely misconstrued an instance of Markle (in the documentary) making fun of herself as being somehow sickening. Also having a go at Markle was the ruperter Sophie Elsworth who claims Markle is on a rampage to destroy the monarchy. I think the monarchy will accomplish that themselves without much external help, given their ‘supporters’ in the yellow press4. Even Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes got in on the act, saying Prince Harry made an “awful mistake” by marrying Meghan Markle and leaving the royal family behind, and “I think she’s had a terrible influence over him … She’s just a horrible human”5. I suspect that Hughes has never met Markle, nor knows much about her, and is just joining in the hate-fest because it seems like a thing the RWNJs should do.
Bot Sentinel also found that the hate narrative around Markle was bolstered by a “bot network,” essentially hundreds of inauthentic Twitter accounts that amplified the hate and conspiracy theories about her, while also following some of the 84 original hate accounts as well as credible royal reporters (oxymoron alert!) and ‘journalists’2. These days, ‘journalists’ are not so much writers and analysers of news, but followers of trends so that they can garner more online clicks from, or sell more newspapers to the punters, with bullshit headlines which tend to misrepresent the content of any story attached to it. So, if a number of Twitter accounts follow a particular ‘journalist’, the said ‘journalist’ is likely to think it would be worth writing a story that reflects the hate expressed by those Twitter accounts.
So many RWNJs will tell you it is because she led Harry to ditch the Royal family. However, this hatred heaped on Markle started long before that, and it was one of the reasons Harry and Meghan shot through.
Back in 2020, the English football (i.e. soccer) team faced Italy in the Euro final and lost the deciding penalty shootout. Three players missed penalties. They were Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who all happen to be black, and were all subjected to extreme amounts of racial abuse, some of which came from outside the UK. This sort of racial abuse is happening all across the world6. Racists are everywhere.
In the current world cup, England played France in the quarter finals, and the England Captain, Harry Kane missed a late penalty which allowed France to win 2:17. There of course will be no racial abuse of Kane as he is white. I suspect there will be very little abuse of him at all.
Why do you think the white supremacists of the yellow press and their Twitter ‘guides’ are so exercised by Markle? One guess. I also wonder if the Markle hate industry is perceived as a useful distraction from the alleged paedophile Prince Andrew.