BBC Under Fire For ‘Racist’ Meghan Markle Segment
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Get Engaged
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A BBC parody of the Duchess of Sussex (formerly Meghan Markle) is receiving backlash for depicting her as angry “trailer trash,” the Telegraph reported.
Titled “Meghan Markle’s Royal Sparkle,” the sketch featured someone from a live studio audience asking the Duchess of Sussex’s 3-D character, “What makes you angry?”
The spoof appeared in an episode of Tonight with Valdimir Putin, a BBC Two television program. The show uses special technology to reimagine live comedians as 3-D characters.
The digital avatar—voiced by Black comedian Gbemisola Ikumelo, who weaponized an exaggerated U.S. hillbilly accent even though the duchess was born and raised in Los Angeles—answers by telling a story about when Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, used her hairbrush.
She then absurdly threatens to “cut” Middleton, the Telegraph reported.
“I can tell she’s used my hairbrush anyway because it’s covered in skanky hair that’s going gray and I say, ‘Stay the f–k out of my trailer or I’ll cut you, Kate,’ ” the digital duchess said in the sketch.
The Telegraph reports that one audience member asked about the Markle’s relationship with Prince Harry. In character, Ikumelo responds by accusing the person of trying to “lay claim” to her man and threatening to fight.
“We can go right now, bitch, you and me,” she said.
Ikumelo claimed that her imitation of Markle was an attempt to poke fun at how “agreeable” and “friendly” she is.
“What if somebody who seems super lovely in public actually has a really mean streak? What would that look like? So I introduced an over-the-top, shouty, hillbilly drawl,” Ikumelo told The Telegraph.
BBC is also backing the ridiculous sketch.
“Viewers will clearly recognize this performance as a spoof and highly satirical, within the context of a program which lampoons a wide range of public figures and the public’s perception of them,” a BBC spokesperson said to The Telegraph in defense of the scene.
The sketch has been received by many as racist and is also not the first time that the California native has received bad press despite her reputation as very calm and collected person.