‘Harry & Meghan’ director says palace tried to discredit series
The reported $100 million production deal broke the Netflix record for unscripted content with more than 81 million hours viewed in the first week.
Filmmaker Liz Garbus, the director of the Netflix series, ‘Harry & Meghan’, says that Buckingham Palace tried to “discredit” the docuseries and the injustices that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle allegedly suffered at the hand of the Royal Family.
Considering the substantial public interest in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex since the couple stepped away from royal duties and forged ahead with a new life across the pond, the series made a huge splash, with fans and critics letting their feelings be known — but for the 52-year-old director, the silence resounding from the palace was the loudest.
In an interview published by Vanity Fair, Garbus spoke out against the palace’s claims that her team didn’t reach out to them for comment on the project.
“Buckingham Palace said that we didn’t reach out for comment, when we did,” Garbus said. “They did that to discredit us… and by discrediting us, they can discredit the content of the show. We lived through some of those moments that were a little bit like Alice Through the Looking Glass.”
On working with Harry and Meghan, Garbus said the couple were willing to get personal, while knowing the repercussions of speaking out against the royal family.
“They were, to their credit, very open and willing to journey down some of the paths that they might not have originally considered,” the director said. “It was always necessary to…connect the dots to the personal story and the larger historical context.”
The making of ‘Harry & Meghan’
Garbus explained that when she met with Harry and Meghan for the first time to hear their side of the royal story, they told her of the palace mind games the couple experienced.
“There was already some trust there,” the director said. “Early on, we had conversations…They understood things that were extremely important to me, and I understood how clear we would need to be about other things so that they would not be misinterpreted.”
Garbus revealed that she knew beforehand that the project would be both much-anticipated and controversial. The royal couple, who have a history of social justice missions, aligned with the director because of her previous work on social equity issues such as capital punishment, criminal justice, and voting rights.
The filmmaker estimated that taking on the issue of monarchy would be the next big topic to tackle, and that nothing is off-limits.
“I don’t feel that [questioning] the monarchy is sacrilege, in the way that I don’t feel [questioning] the American government is sacrilege,” Garbus said. “It’s our role as storytellers and critical thinkers to raise these questions.”
The director said that rather than being crushed by the criticism, “It was exciting that people stuck with it, even with the sort of critical perspective I tried to bring to the story.”