Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are now being accused of “faking” the press mayhem in their new Netflix docuseries! As you probably saw on Monday, the streamer released the first official trailer for the couple’s upcoming documentary series, Harry & Meghan.
The trailer (below) heavily focused on the invasive media scrutiny the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were under following their marriage. But according to several royal experts and insiders, Harry and Meghan misled their audience and twisted the narrative to make it look like the press was invading their privacy when in reality no such thing was happening — at least not like it was portrayed!
At one point during the video, a photographer is seen standing on a balcony looking down on Harry, Meghan, and their young son Archie during a visit to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s residence in South Africa back in 2019 (upper inset). While the snapshot appeared to be seriously intrusive, it was actually taken by an authorized photographer who was strategically placed there. British royal correspondent Robert Jobson sounded the alarms on Monday by tweeting:
“This photograph used by @Netflix and Harry and Meghan to suggest intrusion by the press is a complete travesty.”
Upset that Harry and Meghan had allowed editors to make it look like they were victims of invasive media members, he continued:
“It was taken from an accredited pool at Archbishop Tutu’s residence in Cape Town. Only 3 people were in the accredited position. H & M agreed the position. I was there.”
He went on to tweet another very famous photo of the couple taken inside the building. You probably know the one. The proud parents sit on a couch together while introducing their baby boy to the Archbishop. Robert, who was a part of the 3-person team allowed to follow along for the visit, explained:
“This shot by me from the same accredited pool position on my iPhone was taken at Archbishop Tutu’s Cape Town residence. There was no intrusion. I was part of a 3 person UK palace pool. Nobody else was allowed in and we shared the words and photos with the UK Media.”
A preapproved set of journalists are usually invited to join the royal family during official visits and foreign tours. Often during the events, only one or two reporters and photographers will be invited to join in on certain meetings, as was reportedly the case for this trip. Those lucky to be in attendance then send their reporting to fellow journalists.
ITV royal editor Chris Ship commented on Robert’s take on the trailer, adding:
“Here Robert Jobson makes a valid point. The filming of Archie at Archbishop Tutu’s residence was highly controlled. And the ITN Productions camera filming the Sussexes’ Africa documentary was there with their permission. It was not a media scrum. They spoke to Tom Bradby inside.”
Everything Jobson is saying is true… but whether it’s a valid point, well… We’ll get back to that. There are more accusations of things being twisted in Netflix’s promotional material.
In the series’ first look last week, there was a black-and-white photograph of dozens of paparazzi with massive cameras pointing to something off in the distance. Given the context, viewers were supposed to believe the paps were looking at the royal couple… but they weren’t!
According to The Sun, the photographers were really pointing their cameras at the cast of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two in London. It’s a stock image from Alamy. Even crazier, this event was in 2011 — five years before the Archewell founder and Suits alum met in 2016.
It’s not the only misleading image or video clip, either. According to The Sun, a brief shot from the latest trailer features several photographers swarming around a court in the UK. Over the clip, Harry could be heard saying:
“I was terrified, I didn’t want history to repeat itself.”
But the video was actually of British personality Katie Price, who appeared in court last December to be sentenced for drunk driving, catching the press’ attention!
Another clip then showed photographers huddling around a car as Meghan claimed the royal family was never going to protect her or Harry. She looks out the back of the car and the trailer cuts to another video of a different vehicle seemingly following her. To stress the severity of the invasion of privacy the pair was under, the trailer then moves to a video of Meghan seemingly crying.
Though, once again, the footage of the car following her wasn’t actually related. It was President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen leaving his New York apartment in 2019, the outlet revealed.
Folks are apparently outraged by all the misleading visuals in the promotional material. Ingrid Seward, the editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, told The Sun:
“The inaccurate photographs undermine the validity of what Harry and Meghan are trying to say. It makes them the object of ridicule. If you are going to criticize the monarchy you have to make sure everything you say or do is absolutely correct.”
The thing is… no one has seen the docuseries yet. What people are complaining about are trailers cut by an editor whose entire job is to take hours and hours of footage and craft them into dramatic moments. Trailers are almost never made by the directors of films and TV shows and never by the stars. Is there fake footage in there? Stock pics? Is it all terribly misleading? Well… yeah. That’s kind of the name of the game when it comes to trailers. We’re not sure if these folks have ever been to the movies, but your average Marvel trailer has as much B.S. implication as these, too.
We appreciate that these folks are able to pick out what’s real and what’s not, but it shows either a striking lack of media literacy for 2022 or… and just hear us out here… more bad faith criticism of Meghan?
Don’t get us wrong, if the actual docuseries is as misleading and overdramatized as this, we’ll absolutely do our share of eye-rolling. But we know Meghan was treated awfully by the media, who were often very racist and just downright bullies to her. In a documentary, she can just tell the stories. It’s not like a trailer, which is all soundbites and images. We’ll know for sure on Thursday what the show itself is like.
Until then… should Netflix have been more sensitive in their promos considering how on-edge everyone is about this stuff? Well… if they were most interested in being sensitive, they wouldn’t be making the show, right?
Thoughts, Perezcious readers?! Sound OFF (below)!
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