Politics

Harry & Meghan Documentary Triggers Nigel Farage As Brexit Blamed For Stirring Up Racism

Brexiteers have been angered by the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle documentary on Netflix after it suggested the “toxic” environment the referendum created played a part in the racism experienced by the American actress.

Neither of them say the word “Brexit” in the first three episodes of Harry & Meghan to have dropped as the couple discussed the racism faced by Markle, who is the first mixed-race member of the modern monarchy.

The 2016 vote coincided with the start of the pair’s courtship the same year.

The Duke of Sussex said there is a “huge level of unconscious bias” in the royal family, and hit out at news articles about Markle that had “racist undertones” as well as being “outright racism”.

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In the series, Markle says that she experienced more racism after moving to the UK. “People are very aware of my race because they made it such an issue when I went to the UK,” she says. “Before that, most people didn’t treat me ‘like a Black woman’.”

It’s left to commentators and the visuals used in the docuseries to suggest the referendum and its aftermath contributed to a hostile environment to Markle joining the royal family.

Ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage took umbrage at the picture painted, and accused the Sussexes of labelling the 52% who voted for Brexit as “bad, racist people”.

Allusions to Brexit are periodical.

At one point, Harry says the series is not “just about our story”, adding: “This has always been much bigger than us.” It’s set against a Brexit protest followed by Boris Johnson vowing to “take back control of this country”.

In another episode, academic David Olusoga says that the couple’s “fairy tale” was “embedding itself in a nation that is having a pretty toxic debate about the European Union”.

James Holt, a former palace spokesperson, called the conditions around the 2016 referendum “a perfect storm”. When the UK voted to leave the bloc, Holt said it “gave credence to jingoism and nationalism”.

Farage features in two short clips: one in which he describes immigration as the “number one issue” in the UK, and the second shows him holding a sign reading “we want our country back”.

Olusoga says after a Farage appearance: “Immigration in this country is very often a cypher for race.”

In a video posted to Twitter, Farage responded by suggesting the couple were relying on “extreme left-wing historians” and “fake news headlines”.

He added: “What they’re really saying, is that 52% of Prince Harry’s country of birth are bad, racist people.”

Others on the right were similarly mad.




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