Meghan Markle has opened up about the racism and online bullying she has received since her rise to fame on the hit show Suits.
The actress has penned a powerful essay for Elle UK about the online abuse she received after the show’s producers cast a black actor as her on-screen father.
“I remember the tweets when that first episode of the Zane family aired, then ran the gamut from: ‘Why would they make her dad black? She’s not black’ to ‘Ew, she’s black? I used to think she was hot.’”
“The reaction was unexpected, but speaks of the undercurrent of racism that is so prevalent, especially within America,” she continued.
Meghan also opened up about a question she receives almost every day of her life: “What are you?”
“‘Well,’ I say, as I begin the verbal dance I know all too well. ‘I’m an actor, a writer, the Editor-in-Chief of my lifestyle brand The Tig, a pretty good cook and a firm believer in handwritten notes.’ A mouthful, yes, but one that I feel paints a pretty solid picture of who I am,” she explained.
“But here’s what happens: they smile and nod politely, maybe even chuckle, before getting to their point, ‘Right, but what are you? Where are your parents from?’ I knew it was coming, I always do ... I give them what they’re after: ‘My dad is caucasian and my mom is African-American. I’m half black and half white.’”
Despite already being an established actress, entrepreneur and humanitarian in her own right, there’s no doubt Meghan Markle’s relationship with Prince Harry has catapulted her into the global spotlight.
The racism was clearly something the actress had endured long before the high-profile relationship, but the situation became so serious that the Prince felt the need to release an unprecedented statement condemning the abuse.
The statement slammed the racist, sexist attitudes of the media and warned the media that "this is not a game" and that a line has been "crossed".
"Some of this has been very public - the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.
"Some of it has been hidden from the public - the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life."