Hollywood backs ‘Team Meghan’ as Royal racism allegations grip La La land

It is no exaggeration to say that THAT interview is THE talk of Los Angeles.

On leafy Larchmont Boulevard, in the middle of the Duchess of Sussex’s home city, two friends greeted each other outside of a coffee shop with a breathless: “Did you SEE Meghan Markle?”

The drama of Oprah, Meghan and Harry is one that America has tuned into in a big way.

The US TV viewing figures suggest 17 million people watched the two-hour special, a long way short of the 62 million who watched Oprah’s sit-down with Michael Jackson in 1993 but, in today’s fractured media eco-system, a stonking prime time audience.

Revelations from the Oprah interview

Revelations from the Oprah interview

And even those who didn’t watch were caught up on everything that was revealed and alleged – and the bombshell accusation of racism in the Royal family has struck a raw nerve in America.

“I think there’s a lot of things that people suspected about the Royal family but that no-one’s come out and said,” said Lucy Roberts. “That being said it is a lot of ‘he said, she said’, but I really like Meghan and I tend to believe she’s telling the truth.”

It was a familiar theme. A young woman, dressed in blue Christmas pyjamas and waiting to pick up her Starbucks orders, said: “I’m Team Meghan all the way.”

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  • Meghan and Harry interview: Boris Johnson says he has always had the highest admiration for the Queen

  • Number 10: Boris Johnson hasn’t seen Harry and Meghan interview – but says there is no ‘place in society’ for racism

  • Meghan and Harry interview: How the people of Windsor reacted to the Sussexes’ chat with Oprah Winfrey

  • Harry and Meghan: The celebrities and influential figures who make up their LA inner circle

Public support here at least has fallen the way of the ex-Royals and there is a genuine anger and bitterness towards the institution they so publicly lambasted.

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Mandela’s granddaughter reacts to Meghan claims

Three years ago, Veronica Hendrex and her sister Roxanne Washington gathered a dozen friends around the TV in the early hours to watch Harry and Meghan marry.

The sisters, armed again with champagne and snacks, were left with a very different, if familiar, feeling after watching the Oprah interview.

Veronica said she “disappointed” at the treatment of Meghan by the Royals, that the “fairy tale we all thought it was turned out not to be”.

“I guess I naively thought they would embrace her because that was Harry’s choice but you’ve got this layer of race that’s still an issue. That’s just the reality of being a person of colour.”

Roxanne added: “I was hoping that they had evolved, that they were different, but it seems like behind the scenes they just weren’t ready for Meghan.”

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‘Royals shown for what they are’

The interview has undoubtedly engaged many more Americans in the real-life soap opera of the Royal family, something that to many has been a distant peculiarity until now. The presence of one of their own in the drama has helped.

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‘Queen and Prince Philip not behind Archie remarks’

But not everyone. Outside the Larchmont Village news stand, one woman stopped to give her view: “We’re in the middle of a pandemic and all over the world people are dying and they’re worrying about whether they’re still going to get paid by the Royal family? I mean let’s put it in perspective, right?”

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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