Ordinarily in this space on Golden Globe Monday, we’d be leading with a note about the Globes to kick off our Globes package. That… is not what’s happening today. And it’s not just because the Globes were virtual-ish. After all, we had a whole Emmys package last September and that was a virtual show – a GOOD virtual show. No, the reason why the Globes are not the main story to open the site today is because 1. the show was sh-t, and not even in a way where there’s a lot to say and a lot to laugh about but just … like…sh-t and 2. an hour before the Globes started, as if they could already smell the blood in the water, CBS decided to cockblock the event with the first teaser for Oprah’s two-hour special next week on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
No subject was off limits. The worldâ€™s first look at â€œOprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Specialâ€ðŸ‘‡ðŸ» pic.twitter.com/8hoxc023mX— Omid Scobie (@scobie) March 1, 2021
“Were you silent or were you SILENCED?”
“…there is NO subject that’s off-limits.”
“My biggest concern was history repeating itself.”
“You’ve said some pretty shocking things here…”
And suddenly the Golden Globes became the B-plot of Sunday night television.
There has been a lot of speculation about what, exactly, Harry and Meghan would say to Oprah – whether or not the interview would focus on the “thriving” part of their lives post-Sussexit as opposed to the “surviving”. Sounds like we’re going to get a lot of information about what, exactly, they had to survive…and escape. And when Oprah’s asking a question like “were you silent or were you silenced”, she can’t be referring to the British press. I mean, I’m sure we’ll be getting a lot about how f-cked the British press is during the discussion but that question in particular is 100% about the British royal family, and what happens behind palace gates.
And obviously CBS is taking full advantage of it with this sensational preview that’s meant to build anticipation for what’s expected to be a television EVENT next week. On a night when, ordinarily, a traditional event like the Golden Globes is front and center.
Interesting that Oprah and Harry are the ones who do the talking here… and not Meghan herself. Whoever cut these clips, and approved them, made a specific decision to hold Meghan back for now, perhaps to further underscore that banger of a question, “were you silent or were you silenced”, and also to accelerate the curiosity. What will Meghan say? How much will she say?
CBS is trying to tell us that it’ll be worth waiting for. But also, since they have enough content to fill two hours worth of airtime, they don’t have to blow their load early. This is enough to make a major initial impact and, I’m thinking, they’ll selectively release more exclusive clips through the week, probably on CBS This Morning with Gayle King, so that they can benefit multiple network properties. Like I said last week, CBS is already the big winner out of all of this. And Oprah too, obviously.
Will it be a win for Harry and Meghan though? Look, it’s a given that at least where the British press are concerned, there’s no way they’ll call it a win. But that’s probably not a surprise for Harry and Meghan – in no world were they going into this thinking the British tabloids and “the Cartel” would suddenly be on side Sussex. I can’t imagine that the courtiers and the British royals themselves will be all that pleased about “were you silent or were you silenced” either. And I guess, if they’re really going there with Oprah, presumably they have no more f-cks to give; Harry has no more f-cks to give – specifically about openly and publicly drawing a line in the sand with his family. Or at least the people who surround his family.
Is that the strategy? Harry and Meghan are no longer senior members of the British royal family doing things the way British royal families do; they are operating by Hollywood celebrity standards – and this is a very Hollywood celebrity style interview. Which means we can assume that there was Hollywood PR planning involved – so the question is: what’s the goal here? Is it simply to be understood? Now that a year has passed and they’re officially out, is this interview with Oprah their moment to present their version of events to mark the end of that phase of their lives and start fresh? Or is that just part of a bigger play to set up their own kingdom, so to speak, in America, asserting themselves as leaders for change, to take the Sussex brand to the next level, independent of the British monarchy?
What will the effect of this play have on the British monarchy? Whatever they say to Oprah is going to be heard everywhere and if part of what Harry has to say about his family is disparaging, well, does that undermine the monarchy? Defenders of the crown will say that the monarchy has withstood almost everything, and that Harry and Meghan are barely a concern. If they weren’t a concern though… why are they so concerned?
We are living in seriously unpredictable times, and the status quo is being challenged every single day. There are disruptions in every corner of society. If the crisis talks weren’t happening already at Buckingham Palace, for sure they’ll be happening in the days to come. And of course on top of all this Prince Philip is going on two weeks in hospital. It is now being speculated that the reason why Prince Charles went in to see him last week is because he was summoned by his father to talk about the future of the royal family. There’s no doubt that the British press is already spinning stories about the effect Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview will have on him, which may or may not be encouraged by leaks from inside the palaces.
So the drama continues. As the drama about their family is awarded. I wonder if Peter Morgan is reconsidering his decision about ending The Crown before the William and Harry era. Which brings us back to the Golden Globes and what there is to say about the show. A few things, but definitely not the way we used to do it. And definitely not as extensively with fashion analysis and table gossip. The Globes aren’t the main story but the main story about the Globes wasn’t about the stars but about the actual relevance of the Globes themselves.
Yours in gossip,