An unsettling interview between has resurfaced and sparked a huge reaction online, in the midst of the ongoing conversation about the cycle of abuse by powerful men in Hollywood.
A rediscovered interview with Meghan Markle and American TV host Craig Ferguson has been dubbed “creepy” for his line of questioning.
The interview, which first aired on The Late Late Show in 2013, sees Ferguson openly flirt with the Suits star, ask her deeply personal questions about her grooming regime and make an inappropriate comment about her wearing a school uniform.
After welcoming her into the studio, Ferguson kicks off by telling Markle that she looks “sensational”, before commenting on how smooth her skin is.
“What a strangely hairless body you have,” he tells her, after pinching her arm. “You’re quite the dolphin, aren’t you? You’re absolutely hair free. Are you a competitive swimmer?”
He then goes on to hammer home the punchline of that particular joke, reminding his audience that many swimmers shave their entire bodies in order to help them move more quickly through the water.
Markle, attempting to laugh off his running commentary about her body, goes on to reveal that she used to hang out on the set of popular TV show Married… with Children when she was younger, as her dad worked on the show.
“I grew up on the set every day after school for 10 years,” she says. “It’s a very perverse place for a little girl who went to Catholic school no less to grow up. I’m there in my school uniform, right…”
However, the humanitarian is cut off mid-sentence by Ferguson, who growls appreciatively: “Ohhhh, yeah.”
As the audience reacts, Ferguson insists that “it’s a joke, it’s a joke… erm, kind of a joke,” before going on to ask what the stars of the show thought when they saw Markle “walking around in your little schoolgirl outfit”.
The interview soon spirals off into a discussion about Ferguson’s wife (whom he points out is also called Megan, minus the ‘h’) and ends on a staged ‘awkward pause’, during which he has Markle sniff his finger.
Following the news of Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry, the clip has resurfaced online, with many viewers dubbing Ferguson’s treatment of the actor as “creepy”.
“This guy is so creepy and cringe-worthy,” wrote one YouTube user.
“Ferguson sexualised her at every opportunity, didn’t let her finish her sentences and answer his questions and was not interested in her as an intelligent person whatsoever,” pointed out another.
One more added: “He is an absolute embarrassment to watch. What a terrible host!”
And another, pointing out that Ferguson’s interview style failed to give Markle a chance to talk about her interests or passions, chimed in: “He is really annoying. Not interested in anything she had to say. Hardly got to finish her replies. Thank god she was professional. He is NOT funny!”
However, there were those who insisted that “it’s alarming to see how many people are offended by this,” claiming that “Ferguson is known for doing fun, unscripted flirty interview (with the women).”
Another, clearly missing the point of the outrage, asked: “And just how accurate was Craig’s assumption of [her being] hairless [all over]?”
A number of people have also suggested that Markle was fine with the running commentary on her body, as she “laughed it off”. However, many people can relate to giggling nervously when they find themselves placed in a situation of emotional distress or awkwardness.
So far, Markle has not commented on the clip.
Images: YouTube/The Late Late Show