Royal experts said many of the newspaper headlines used by programme-makers to suggest racist overtones in reports about the couple were taken out of context to suit the narrative. And a third of the stories used to illustrate alleged UK media bias against Meghan and Harry were taken from glossy American and Australian “supermarket tabloids” rather than British publications.
Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer tweeted: “On US media, Oprah is accused of misleading viewers about the nature of British media coverage.
“One in three of the stories she cited were in foreign media, she blamed tabloids for stories in broadsheets and portrayed sympathetic stories as negative.”
The programme, made by Ms Winfrey’s Harpo Productions film company, used the headline from a Guardian report on how BBC radio presenter Danny Baker had posted a tweet in 2019 comparing the “royal baby Archie to a chimp.”
Mr Baker, who was sacked as a result of the furious public backlash, insisted his comments were not racial but admitted a “serious error of judgement”.
The programme also highlighted a MailOnline headline which read “Meghan’s seed will taint our Royal Family” but failed to acknowledge the article was a condemnation of comments made by Jo Marney, partner of then-UKIP leader Henry Bolton, which were branded “shocking disgusting racist remarks”.
Large parts of the incendiary interview focused on the coverage of the relationship between Meghan and her sister-in-law Kate.
But again many of the headlines and articles used to highlight an apparent “rift” between the two came from foreign celebrity gossip magazines including US publications the National Enquirer, Us Weekly, In Touch and Star as well as articles from the Australian New Idea magazine.
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Meghan and Harry’s interview, which was broadcast in the US last Sunday and the UK 24 hours later, has plunged the monarchy into its biggest crisis since the 1997 death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
But it was the couple’s accusation that one of the royals had made a racist comment which has dominated coverage and has the potential to cause lasting damage.
Meghan, whose mother is black and father is white, said while she was pregnant with Archie there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
The interview, watched by 12.4 million viewers in Britain and 17.1 million in the US, has proved divisive among the British public.
For some, Meghan’s accusations confirmed their belief that the monarchy is an outdated and intolerant institution, while others decried it as a self-serving assault that neither the Queen nor the royal family deserved.