Before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix deal became public, the British media was *obsessed* with the idea that Meghan and Harry would be giving “paid speeches.” The British media spun it out to make it sound like M&H would be giving speeches for millions of dollars every week, and they would only be getting paid to talk about “woke” things and royal things. It was all so asinine. It became more asinine during the pandemic, when obviously there are very few large gatherings or events where a paid speaker might come in. Besides that, Meghan seems hellbent on driving down her paid-speech price – Meghan keeps doing all of these FREE Zoom calls with various groups and media outlets and she’s spilling her own special blend of tea and making news. I mean, maybe it’s advertising for future paid speeches. Or maybe Meghan just wants to “use her voice” all the time now. In any case, she spoke (over Zoom) to Fortune’s Most Powerful Next Gen Summit on Tuesday. Some highlights from her talk:
On making tough decisions: She’s learned to, in her words, “chase her convictions with action. It’s not easy. That’s the first place all of us have to start with. Sometimes making the best decision for yourself and your family might not be the most popular one. My faith is greater than my fear. It has to be greater than whatever fears are hindering you from taking that step.”
Using her voice: “Your voice matters. You realize it more when you are not able to exercise it. Regardless of my experience over the last few years compared to anyone’s experience, you can’t take for granted the ability you have as a woman to be able to be heard, and now with the platform that people have on social media to actually have that voice heard for a larger audience, I think it’s a huge responsibility.”
She’s “avoided” social media in recent years: “For my own self-preservation, I have not been on social media for a very long time. I had a personal account years ago, which I closed down and then we had one through the institution and our office that was in the U.K. that wasn’t managed by us —that was a whole team — and so I think that comes with the territory for the job you have. I’ve made a personal choice to not have any account, so I don’t know what’s out there, and many ways that’s helpful for me. I have a lot of concerns for people that have become obsessed with it. And it is so much a part of our daily culture for so many people that it’s an addiction like many others. There are very few things in this world where you call the person who is engaging with it a user.”
How motherhood has changed her: “It’s interesting because my gut is that it makes you more courageous, it makes you so concerned for the world they’re going to inherit. So the things you’re able to tolerate on your own are not the same that you are going to put your child in a position of vulnerability for. You go every single day — how can I make this world better for Archie? That is a shared belief for my husband and I. At the same time, I am cautious of putting my family at risk by certain things. I try to be very clear in what I say and not get controversial and instead talk about things that seem very straight forward, like exercising your right to vote. I think that’s as simple as it comes and as necessary as it comes and to that point as a parent, I can enjoy all the fun and silliness and games with my son, but I wouldn’t be able to feel proud of myself as a mom if I didn’t know that I wasn’t doing my part to make it a better place for him.”
On the Netflix deal & her future: “Everything I’m doing is for Archie, our son…There’s a lot that I’m excited about — certainly in creating programming and content that is conscious and inspiring and has a call to action and is uplifting. And I’m excited to be back home in the States and hopefully as things start to open up a bit more with COVID, just to be back and engaging and interacting with people in a different way and in a way that will allow me to roll my sleeves up and really be boots on the ground back at home.”
I think the social media conversation is connected to the “use your voice while you have it” conversation. While she’s playing a bit fast and loose with authorship of the Sussex Royal Instagram, she was clearly writing the majority of the posts. And that’s fine! I always felt like she was so involved in the SussexRoyal IG because she wasn’t allowed to use her voice in the ways she had been able to before she married into that dreadful institution. IG became her outlet, and she used it, in a small way, to reclaim some of her voice. I’m still hoping that she and Harry do another Instagram to promote all of their stuff. I’ve been looking forward to that all year.
“Sometimes making the best decision for yourself and your family might not be the most popular one.” Yep. She was prepared to make the right decision, not the popular decision. And good for them. This too was a pointed comment: “I am cautious of putting my family at risk by certain things. I try to be very clear in what I say and not get controversial and instead talk about things that seem very straight forward, like exercising your right to vote.” Yes. Confirmation that she actually is being very careful in the words she uses and the statements she makes and whether or not she’s being “political.” She has no desire to be even targeted further by the British media or by Donald Trump and his Nazis.
Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex warns against the pitfalls of social media addiction during a conversation at the #FortuneMPW Next Gen Summit. https://t.co/hhyvMGAoyf pic.twitter.com/eKpB0U38AW
— FORTUNE (@FortuneMagazine) October 13, 2020
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.
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