The story of Harry and Meghan has often been portrayed as a clash of values between Britain and America. Between British stiff-upper-lip and Californian emotional incontinence. Between stoicism and the new woke victim politics. But as a Brit I’m pleased to see that you guys — having been lumbered with the transatlantic royal couple since 2020 — are now as fed up with the self-pitying Sussexes as we are.
This has been made abundantly clear by Chris Rock’s new Netflix stand-up special, Selective Outrage. In it, alongside settling scores with Will Smith for *that* slap at the Oscars, Rock takes merciless aim at Meghan, ridiculing her claims of royal mistreatment.
“They’re so racist, they’re so racist,” Rock says, impersonating our dear duchess in a routine about people who insist on playing the victim. He dismisses much of what she went through as “some in-law shit,” before sending up Meghan’s central claim from her now infamous Oprah interview:
“Oprah, they’re so racist they wanted to know how brown the baby was going to be… That’s not racist, because even black people want to know how brown the baby going to be,” he says.
Rock, you won’t be surprised to learn, is no fan of the monarchy. In the same routine, he dubs the British royal family “the original racists.” “They invented colonialism,” he says, expressing disbelief that Markle was blissfully unaware of any of this. But even he can’t handle the Sussexes’ never-ending victim routine, it seems.
Nor can his fellow countrymen and women. While, at first, it seemed the couple’s potent mix of psychobabble and British-bashing had found a readymade audience in the US, the more Americans have learned about the Sussexes, the more they’ve taken against them. After the Netflix documentary, Harry’s too-much-information memoir and endless media interest, the Sussexes are now more unpopular than Prince Andrew among Americans. Which is, err, saying something.
The duke and duchess have become something worse than disliked. They’ve become the butt of jokes; figures of brutal mockery. Before Rock’s Netflix special landed, we also saw the Sussexes get the South Park treatment. A Canadian royal couple with a suspicious resemblance to Harry and Meghan appeared in a recent episode. In it, they embark upon a “Worldwide Privacy Tour,” and chide those who try to ignore their antics as bigots.
If we’re honest, they were asking for all of this. Since Megxit, Harry and Meghan have been trying to do two impossible things at the same time. They’ve been saying ridiculous, self-aggrandizing and quite possibly untrue things — such as that South Africans celebrated their marriage on the streets just as they did when Mandela was freed — all while condemning any criticism of themselves. This was never going to work for long.
Let their savage mockery be a lesson to woke elitists everywhere. If you try to use identity politics to deflect criticism, if you try to claim you’re the victim despite unimaginable privilege and wealth, people don’t like it. Even in America. We may be separated by a common language, but we are united in finding self-victimizing millionaires infuriating. Long may that continue.
This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.