Netflix deal makes Harry a Hollywood icon

Showbiz Royalty: Analysts say the documentary deal could be worth over £74million© Getty

Are they hypocrites? The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to become TV stars after signing a multi-year Netflix deal, six months after saying they wanted to stay out of the spotlight.

In January, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were stepping down as “senior” members of the Royal Family. Then they boarded a plane and headed straight to a distant Canadian island, far away from the prying eyes of the world’s press. The move — dubbed Megxit by the media —was so sudden it shocked even the Queen.

Now, just over six months later, this plan seems to be falling apart. The couple has moved from relative anonymity in Canada to California, the home of the paparazzi.

On Wednesday, they were back in the public eye again, announcing a deal with Netflix to create dozens of new documentaries, feature films, scripted shows and even children’s television.

In a statement, the Duke and Duchess said: “Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope.”

The advantages of the deal are obvious. Neither Harry, a former British Army captain, nor Meghan, an actress, have any production experience. Yet as documentary makers, they will have the chance to tell — rather than to be — the story.

But some critics are outraged by the Duke and Duchess’s decision to sign a multimillion-dollar deal with media giant Netflix while simultaneously pursuing legal action against newspapers and photographers.

Are they hypocrites?

King and Queen (of Hollywood)?

Definitely, say some. The couple chose to leave England — and the Royal family — to escape their celebrity status. If they are as committed to privacy, as they say, it simply does not make sense for them to enter the world of Hollywood show business.

Of course not, say others. Both Harry and Meghan are committed campaigners, and becoming documentary producers is just another form of activism. Now they are no longer senior royals, they should be free to pursue their careers and make their own fortune.

You Decide

  1. Would you be more likely to watch a TV show if you knew it was made by a celebrity?

Activities

  1. Imagine you have signed a deal with Netflix. Create a list, with explanations, of five issues that you would like to make a documentary about.

Some People Say...

“It’s not enough to just survive. That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive.”

Meghan Markle, American actress and Duchess of Sussex

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
It is generally agreed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex like to be in control of how they are portrayed in the media. Earlier this year, the couple announced that their communication team was cutting ties with four British tabloid papers they accused of “clickbait and distortion” and instead, collaborating with “grassroots media, regional and local media, and young, up-and-coming journalists, to spotlight issues and causes that so desperately need acknowledging.”
What do we not know?
One main area of debate surrounds how the media should interact with Harry and Meghan as they seek to become private citizens. For both the couple and the media alike, their move to California is unchartered territory. In July, they filed a lawsuit against LA paparazzi for photographs taken of their son Archie playing in their garden. Now that the Duke and Duchess are entering the world of Hollywood, it is unclear how their relationship with the press may shift once again.

Word Watch

Megxit
Harry and Meghan took the unusual step of announcing their exit from Royal life via Instagram, rather than a statement to the media. They later agreed to stop using their HRH titles and give up the “Sussex Royal” brand in their quest to be financially independent.
Actress
Meghan Markle was best known for playing lawyer Rachel Zane in US television drama Suits.
Legal action
The pair are suing newspapers for invading their privacy both in the UK and America

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