Not all fairy tales have happy endings, and for Princess Meghan the clock just chimed midnight and the spell has been broken. The coach is turning back into a pumpkin as we speak.
As a longtime Royal Family watcher, I admit to feeling shameless glee as I read the recent stories of Meghan and Harry striking out in Hollywood. It’s always fun to watch dire low-stakes predictions come true. Like many of you, I was appalled at the disrespect Meghan showed to her in-laws. Instead of respecting the Queen, Meghan, incredibly, seemed to be trying to compete with the Queen. She thought she was playing a game of “Survivor,” but she was the only one on the island who didn’t know how to make a fire.
A Long Way Down for the Duchess
For those not keeping track, Meghan and her nitwit ginger sidekick have been dropped by Spotify, reportedly losing half of the $50 million promised. She got $25 million for a measly 12 hours of a middling podcast featuring the richest and most famous women in the world complaining about how hard their lives are. Netflix is reportedly about to cut their $100 million deal short. They finished milking them dry of low-hanging tabloid family gossip, and just found out they have no Act 2.
Nothing is working out the way she dreamed it would. Meghan’s imagined billionaire lifestyle is turning into a mirage. Why? Because for some hilarious reason, the creative bigwigs in Hollywood believed Meghan when she promised that her and Harry would be able to provide oodles of monetizable entertainment content.
I mean, yes, I am quite entertained by the spectacle, but schadenfreude is tough to monetize.
Meghan In Her Flop Era
Meghan’s predicament tells you everything about the people who run Hollywood. Imagine thinking that these two “f*cking grifters,” in the words of the Spotify exec who had to say no to Harry’s harebrained podcast ideas, would be a rich source of high-quality entertainment!
I can’t help wondering how a D-list golddigger convinced these studio heads that her and the ginger mouth breather would somehow provide $150 million worth of streaming content. It turns out that they’re only good at providing piles of steaming content, if you know what I mean.
I suppose it’s true, as movie producer Jackie Trehorn tells the Dude in “The Big Lebowski,” standards have fallen in entertainment. Since the Sussexes first ditched their careers as legit royalty and started groping for ephemeral Hollywood royalty, my fellow Meghan hobbyists and I have enjoyed a goldmine of unintentional comedy. She’s the Benny Hill of pampered Montecito trophy wives, always running downhill chased by imaginary paparazzi.
She’s been a source of delight since the early days when she was using a Sharpie to write inspirational messages on bananas to street prostitutes in England. “You are brave.” “You are loved.” Then the cringe-worthy trek through the thousand micro-aggressions she endured at the hands of her sister-in-law Catherine. Did she not realize everyone saw it for what it was: pure jealousy?
But now we come to the era of Meghan Markle, entertainment content creator. The latest chapter in the Meghan character arc is about the content she and hapless Harry are trying to pitch to their paymasters in Beverly Hills. It was clear that her long slide back into C-list obscurity had begun when I read an incredible tidbit in the trades earlier this year. Meghan was talking about her new content ideas she was working on for her “media production company.” See, it’s already funny!
Meghan gushed to a Variety reporter: “For scripted, we want to think about how we can evolve from that same space and do something fun! It doesn’t always have to be so serious. Like a good rom-com. Don’t we miss them? I miss them so much. I’ve probably watched ‘When Harry Met Sally’ a million times. And all the Julia Roberts rom-coms. We need to see those again.”
We do? Rom-coms? I mean, yeah, it would be wonderful to have good movies again, of any genre. But with Meghan in charge, imagine the scripts she would commission. “When Harry Met Meghan, the Oppressed and Suicidal Actress.” “How to Lose a Prince in 10 Days.” “10 Things I Hate About Kate.” “The Meghan Markle Story, Starring Meghan Markle.”
That last one’s more of a tragicomedy than a rom-com, sorry. But I understand why she wants to make Julia Roberts-style romantic comedies. After all, just a few years ago, she was lurking on Hollywood Boulevard auditioning for her big break when a prince in an Aston Martin cruised by and whisked her away to his palace. She has lived a real-life Cinderella story. Only this one may not have quite the same ending.
As Jeremy Zimmer, the CEO of United Talent Agency, one of the largest Hollywood talent agencies dished during Cannes to every reporter within earshot: “It turns out that Meghan Markle wasn’t a great audio talent, or necessarily has some kind of talent. And you know, just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you’re good at something.”
Ouch. I wonder if Jeremy Zimmer has seen the latest desperate pitch Meghan made to Netflix; a girlboss rom-com called “Bad Manners” starring … Miss Havisham. The show is “a prequel to Charles Dickens’s 1861 novel Great Expectations which will focus on the character Miss Havisham… [the show] aims to shine a feminist light on the spinster, showing her as a ‘strong woman living in a patriarchal society.’”
Who says comedy is dead? Sign me up for this one!
The article ends with the ominous “it is unclear whether the show will get a green light from Netflix.”
Meghan is learning, finally, the hardest lesson of all: real royalty may be hereditary, but Hollywood royalty has to be earned. Popularity matters. Likeability, in the end, is the only currency that matters if you wear no crown.