Editor’s Note: Whether on screen or off, Hollywood can always be counted on to keep us entertained. This is especially true when it comes to politics. Join us each week as we shine the spotlight on Tinseltown’s A-listers and their whacky and sometimes inspiring takes on today’s current events.
Meghan Markle, a bully? This claim and others suddenly surfaced just days before the California-based royal couple’s intimate interview is to be televised. Was it a plot to try to distract from the broadcast and what it might reveal? Some say the Duchess is the one being bullied, while others assert the former actress was a nightmare to work for.
The Royal Cluster
Prince Harry and his Duchess have captured England’s attention and that of people over here across the pond. Their move to the United States raised a lot of eyebrows and had people questioning what was really going on behind royal palace doors. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down with none other than talk show sensation Oprah Winfrey. A tell-all television special is set to air on March 7 in the U.S. and March 8 in the U.K.
Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A Primetime Special is sure to reveal some “pretty shocking things” according to Oprah, and the family back in Buckingham Palace is more than a little concerned about what kind of “revelations” will come out.
Hints, Not Spoilers
Prince Harry has made it clear that he is not a fan of the press and is concerned about his wife suffering the same fate as his mother, Princess Diana, at the hands of story-hungry reporters. “My biggest fear was history repeating itself,” Harry remarked in a clip advertising the television special. The Princess of Wales, he said, had never been fond of the media. He added:
“For me, I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you [Oprah Winfrey] with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her [Princess Diana] going through this process by herself all those years ago because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us. But at least we have each other.”
In another part of the advertisement clip, Oprah entices viewers with, “I just want to make it clear to everybody there is no subject which is off limits.” Meghan is seen nodding, and there are rumors that the Duchess, who is biracial, plans to discuss the race issues in England.
To say the royal family is not pleased with the upcoming interview would be an understatement. Not only do they fear the couple’s story will be one-sided and put a taint on the family, but they also say the timing is “crass beyond belief,” with Prince Philip still in the hospital with heart issues. “Prince Philip suffered terrible tragedies in his life,” said British commentator Piers Morgan, “but he never gave interviews about how bad his life was.”
Scandals Break Ahead of Interview
Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, said the bullying claims against her are just tactics to discredit them – a smear campaign. According to the British newspaper, The Times, the Duchess of Sussex is accused of “driving out” two personal assistants and she and her princely husband have been called “outrageous bullies”. Former staff members claim Meghan used “emotional cruelty and manipulation” in her dealings with them, reducing them to tears and leaving them “shaking” with fear, according to The Daily Mail.
On the other hand, the Duchess argued that The Times is being “used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative based on misleading and harmful misinformation.” Friends of the actress-turned-royal suggest it is more a matter of cultural differences than intentionally being a bully, using the reasoning that Americans are considered much harsher and more arrogant than their English counterparts.
Buckingham Palace is taking the matter seriously (after first refusing to respond to the allegations). The Palace says its HR team will “look into” the accusations and that it “does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace.”
China’s Actors Face Banishment for Life for Drug Use
If you want to work in the film industry in China, you better not use drugs – not even once. The head of the Guangdong Guoding Law firm, Zhu Lieyu, suggested a proposal to ban actors from ever working in televised entertainment again if they use drugs is a plan to try to reduce drug abuse in the country. The idea is that “one instance of drug use means you’re banned for life” should become law to regulate the “chaos of drug-related behavior among celebrities.” Zhu said: “Actors inherently have a higher level of education, and they are idolized by young people. The bad impact of them using drugs is more severe, so the punishment for them using drugs should be harsher.”
Imagine, if you will, a life where actors are drug and alcohol-free. Nope, I can’t either. It’s a stressful business along with must-attend A-list parties (for networking, you know) complete with champaign and, well, other kinds of cocktails. Suffice it to say, if this was a world-wide rule, we’d have far fewer movies and sitcoms to watch.
Cheers and Jeers
Sometimes, HollyWeird players make headlines for silly or bizarre happenings, so here is a collection of newsworthy doings — honorable and dishonorable — by the tenants of Tinseltown.
French actor Gerard Depardieu, known for films such as Green Card and Cyrano de Bergerac, has been accused of rape and sexual assault of an actress in her 20s in 2018. According to reports, the 72-year-old actor allegedly invited the victim back to his Paris mansion to “help her with her career.” The incident was reported once and dropped for lack of evidence, but has now been reopened. Two rapes are alleged to have happened on August 7 and August 13, 2018, as well as multiple sexual assaults. Depardieu denied the charges, saying the woman’s father was a friend of his and he was just trying to help her.
Coming 2 America Forced to Cast a White Person
The 1988 comedy Coming to America featuring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall was a cast of mostly black actors, in which Murphy and Hall played multiple roles. With an exception: comedian Louie Anderson. According to the stars, they were forced to choose a white person to be in the movie and Anderson seemed the best choice. “I love Louie, but I think we were forced to put Louie in it,” Hall told Jimmy Kimmel. “We were forced to put in a white person.”
Murphy agreed. “They were like, ‘There has to be a white person in the movie.’ I was like, ‘what?’ So who was the funniest white guy around? We knew Louie was cool, so that’s how Louie got in the movie.” Anderson played an employee at Murphy’s future father-in-law’s restaurant, McDowell’s (not to be confused with McDonald’s). He also made a small appearance in the newly released sequel.
Tune in next week to see what else Tinseltown has planned.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.