“Harry & Meghan Hated in Hollywood!” proclaimed US magazine Globe last week.
It’s an outrageously sensational report, yet struck a chord with some in Tinseltown.
Eyebrows were raised when Harry and Meghan were not at former president Barack Obama’s star-studded 60th birthday party last month, across the country in Martha’s Vineyard, despite Meghan having given birth to the couple’s second child, Lilibet Diana, only nine weeks earlier.
And resentment is reportedly mounting against the duo who were handed a £112million Netflix production deal, a £20million Spotify podcast contract, and a lucrative publishing deal when they moved to the US.
“That’s left a bad taste in the mouths of stars who’ve worked their whole lives to get to the top,” says an entertainment industry insider.
“They’re dangerously close to being yesterday’s news in Hollywood,” says a veteran producer. “They haven’t made anything yet, and so they have no credibility beyond Netflix’s deal announcement.”
They added: “Not all celebrity can be monetised.”
The pair are lampooned in the new HBO Max cartoon series The Prince. Meghan is portrayed as a has-been reduced to appearing on Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills, with Harry working in Los Angeles as a masseur.
The Sussexes fled Britain for a new life in California, arriving in March 2020. They were immediately welcomed into Hollywood’s elite, invited to parties with Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey, and loaned a Beverly Hills mansion by movie mogul Tyler Perry.
“They seem to be existing in a much healthier place, away from the toxicity that caused so many mental health problems for them as well,” said the couple’s unofficial biographer, Omid Scobie, co-author of Finding Freedom.
That “toxicity” was attributed to the Royal Family and the Palace “institution” that allegedly expressed concerns over their unborn baby Archie’s skin colour, cut off Harry’s funding and left Meghan feeling suicidal.
But some question whether the former Suits star has earned her status as Hollywood’s Princess.
“She’s no Grace Kelly,” says the producer. “Princess Grace was an Oscar-winning actress in classic films. Meghan opened briefcase No 24 on TV game show Deal Or No Deal, and had a minor cable TV series.”
Harry and Meghan are following closely in the Obama family’s footsteps with TV and book deals. After the Obamas both wrote memoirs, Harry signed a contract to pen his own.
But Meghan’s children’s book, The Bench, was attacked for bearing a resemblance to The Boy On The Bench by British author Corinne Averiss. Averiss later said she did not see any similarities.
But a US poll last year found 70 percent of respondents were “not very interested” or “not interested at all” in the pair.
“Meghan Markle’s 40×40 project is more an attempt to stay relevant than to really help women,” mused social commentator Lauren Chen said.
Meghan enlisted the help of Adele and Stella McCartney, but Chen said: “It’s unclear whether they have any insights that could help the average woman.”
The one thing Hollywood respects is success, however, and Harry and Meghan could find themselves back in favour if they can generate audience-grabbing hit movies and TV shows.
Yet their Spotify deal has produced only one podcast in the past eight months, and critics point to their “worthy” slate of shows thus far: Harry’s Apple TV Plus series on mental health earlier this year; his planned Netflix series about Invictus Games warriors; and Meghan’s recently announced animated series Pearl, about a young girl inspired by influential women in history.
“Interesting, but hardly blockbuster material,” says the veteran producer.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK