Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Meghan Markle pens incredible essay about racism and social media trolls

meghan markle (2).jpg

Just weeks ago, Prince Harry – in an unprecedented move – released a public statement condemning some of the media’s sexist and racist treatment of his new girlfriend, Meghan Markle.

They had attempted to reduce the talented Suits actor to nothing more than a divorced older woman (she is 35 – and, as such, just three years older than the prince) Some members of the press also began questioning her financial background and her ‘motives’ for dating a member of the royal family.

Perhaps most shockingly of all, however, were the loaded comments about Markle’s ethnicity – and the backlash that this generated on social media.

Read more: Prince Harry slams tabloids for sexist and racist abuse of Meghan Markle

Many racist Twitter trolls claimed that the prince should not be allowed to date a biracial person – harkening back to the mythical concept of ‘blue blood’ and royal purity. And, as Prince Harry explained in his statement, paparazzi began to invade the privacy of both Markle and her family, employing abusive tactics in order to find out more about them.

“Some of it has been hidden from the public,” explained the prince, going on to recall “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.”

However, it is not the first time that Markle has been subjected to abuse over her ethnicity – and the actor, philanthropist, and feminist is sure that it will not be the last, either.


In that case - be a rebel, friends 

A photo posted by Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) on

Writing in a new essay for Elle, Markle explains: “My dad is Caucasian and my mum is African-American. I’m half black and half white.

“To describe something as being black and white means it is clearly defined. Yet when your ethnicity is black and white, the dichotomy is not that clear. In fact, it creates a grey area. Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.”

Read more: Meghan Markle, the woman the world is crushing on

Markle goes on to explain that “being ‘ethnically ambiguous’, as I was pegged in the industry, meant I could audition for virtually any role… [but] sadly, it didn’t matter. I wasn’t black enough for the black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”

It is for this reason that Markle was so happy to be offered the role of Suits’ Rachel Zane – a confident and intelligent para-legal and part-time associate at Pearson Spectre Litt.

“The show's producers weren't looking for someone mixed, nor someone white or black for that matter,” she says. “They were simply looking for Rachel. In making a choice like that, the Suits producers helped shift the way pop culture defines beauty.”

However, despite securing a huge fan-base and receiving acclaim for the role in the first series, Markle was shocked at the backlash the show received when they cast Wendell Pierce, a “dark-skinned African-American man” to play her father.


Another #BTS from my cover shoot for @lifestylemag #NYC #photoshoot 

A photo posted by Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) on

“I remember the tweets when that first episode of the Zane family aired, they 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.',” she writes, adding that she “blocked and reported” a number of social media users.

“The reaction was unexpected, but speaks of the undercurrent of racism that is so prevalent, especially within America.”

Read more: Why Meghan Markle is a feminist game-changer

Markle may recognise that the USA has a long way to go before it finally eradicates racism, but she goes on to explain that she fully embraces her own mixed heritage – and that she refuses to let herself be described as an ‘other’ anymore.

You have to “make a choice,” explains Markle. “[You can] continue living your life feeling muddled in this abyss of self-misunderstanding, or you find your identity independent of it. You push for colour-blind casting, you draw your own box… you create the identity you want for yourself, just as my ancestors did when they were given their freedom.”

She finishes powerfully: “In 1865 (which is so shatteringly recent), when slavery was abolished in the United States, former slaves had to choose a name. A surname, to be exact.

“Perhaps the closest thing to connecting me to my ever-complex family tree, my longing to know where I come from, and the commonality that links me to my bloodline, is the choice that my great-great-great grandfather made to start anew.

“He chose the last name Wisdom. He drew his own box.”

You can read Meghan Markle’s full essay in Elle UK now.


Prince William defends Prince Harry's relationship with Meghan Markle

Prince William issues statement about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle


Meghan Markle, the woman the world is crushing on


Meghan Markle pens powerful essay about fame, love, and family


Mary Berry takes part in heartbreaking film about child bereavement

“I would thank him for being a brilliant son.”

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Margot Robbie writes stirring open letter to Hollywood

by Nicola Colyer
19 Oct 2017

Gabrielle Union shares a powerful message about rape and harassment

The star says she’ll “keep talking out” for survivors like herself

by Susan Devaney
19 Oct 2017

Why the singer has opened up about her mental health

The singer says it was “really, really bad” during her time with the band

by Susan Devaney
19 Oct 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Madonna’s touching tribute to a Cruel Intentions reunion

by Nicola Colyer
19 Oct 2017

Anna Faris understands why people were obsessed with her relationship

She and Chris Pratt were often hailed as #relationshipgoals

by Amy Swales
19 Oct 2017

Cher is starring in the Mamma Mia! sequel and we can’t wait for 2018

Can you hear the drums, Fernando?

by Susan Devaney
18 Oct 2017

Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey shares shocking sexual harassment story

“I got in my car and cried”

by Susan Devaney
18 Oct 2017

Jennifer Lawrence was forced into a naked line-up by a producer

In the name of weight-loss “inspiration”

by Amy Swales
17 Oct 2017

Abigail Breslin’s photo reveals how domestic abuse can stay with you

The actor has opened up about the realities of living with PTSD

17 Oct 2017