If anyone thought there would be some type of racial reckoning to suddenly come over the British tabloid press following Oprah Winfrey‘s bombshell interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, it’s time to think again.
On the contrary, there is no evidence of contrition, as shown by at least two high-profile instances of white male journalists defending their past media treatment of the now-former royal couple who explained they fled Buckingham Palace and Britain in part because of the racism they experienced at the hands of the press.
The racist media treatment in the UK pounced in 2016 when they first found out Harry was romantically involved with Markle, who is biracial with a Black mother. The British press hasn’t let up since.
And while people defending the racism have said Markle’s offensive depiction in the media is par for the course since she’s a famous public figure, she made sure to tell Oprah that there is a clear difference in her case. “Rude and racist are not the same thing,” Markle accurately distinguished during the interview that aired Sunday night.
One veteran British journalist decidedly and notably disagreed with that sentiment.
The leader of a membership organization made up of British journalists got real resentful when a BBC News TV anchor questioned him live on the air about one Markle headline, in particular, that was dripping with racial undertones and was likely crafted by someone in the group he leads.
Published in the Daily Star in 2019, the headline referenced “gangster royalty” because, it said, Markle was from a “crime-ridden neighbourhood.” Markle is from the Crenshaw District in Los Angeles.
The implied translation is obvious: A Black girl from the ‘hood has no business being involved with British royalty, romantically or otherwise.
The BBC News anchor provided Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors, with a list of racist headlines. But Murray, clearly flustered, refused “to defame one headline” when he was asked about that one specifically. He went on to talk over and interrupt the anchor, claim the UK tabloid press was not racist and characterized the headline as “a needle in the haystack,” suggesting it was an exception.
Then, when asked again if the headlines were racist, Murray simply refused to say whether they were or weren’t as his face grew a darker shade of red.
Watch the exchange below.
Not to be outdone, Piers Morgan, one of the most outspoken people in UK media expressing racist views about Markle, was confronted on live TV Tuesday morning by a co-anchor.
Alex Beresford, who is Black and British, broke down in great detail the “overwhelming amount of negative press” that Markle and Harry have gotten. But then Beresford called out Morgan live on the air.
“I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle,” Beresford told Morgan. “You’ve made it so clear a number of times on this program.”
Beresford said Morgan was upset that Markle decided to shun him.
“She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to,” he added. “Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has but you continue to trash her.”
That’s when Morgan suddenly got up and stormed off the set and said, “sorry, can’t do this.”
Watch him — like Murray — pretend the hatred he perpetuated doesn’t exist.
Later on Tuesday, Morgan resigned from the TV show, “Good Morning Britain.”
The lack of accountability has been stunning.
Oprah’s interview renewed attention on racism among the Royal Family and in the UK.
One of the most unexpected allegations Markle made was the Royal Family having “concerns and conversations” when she was pregnant about “how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
But these latest interviews draw attention to racism in British media, as well.