A TV series proposed by Prince Harry and Meghan will focus on two issues closest to her heart – female empowerment and racial equality. It will tackle discrimination like that faced by mixed-race Meghan herself as she grew up in Los Angeles. These are the first details to emerge of a project which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have pitched to a string of network executives.
A TV insider said: “They have suggested a series focusing on the empowerment of women and young girls in today’s world. It will home in on race issues, something Meghan has always been passionate about. It’s got quite a political stance and will also draw on feminism. They want the series to continue their vision of empowerment for young people.” Sources say the couple “will appear in it but it’s about ‘normal’ people, not them.”
Last week, it emerged the couple pitched the idea to numerous companies in June – when they bought a Sh1.4billion estate in Santa Barbara, California, where they live with son Archie. They intend to serve as joint producers of the project. Harry and Meghan hope to make a fortune with their own film and television production company after their break from the Royal Family.
Their plans include providing voiceovers and producing documentaries on worthy issues, such as mental health and climate change. NBC Universal was among the networks that heard Harry and Meghan’s first pitch. They had a meeting with its top bosses – including chairman of content studios Bonnie Hammer, who has known Meghan, 39, since her days on the US show Suits. Meghan has described Ms Hammer as the woman who changed her life after she cast her in the legal drama.
A friend of Meghan told Variety magazine that she has no intention of acting in any projects. The duchess narrated the Disney+ documentary Elephants, which came out in April. Last year Harry, 35, announced he was partnering with Oprah Winfrey on an Apple TV+ series about mental health. And he is to appear in a Netflix documentary about the Paralympic Games, which will air on Wednesday.
Last week we revealed Hollywood directors were scrambling to work with Meghan, who could make Sh4.8billion if she returned to acting. Paul Feig, whose films include The Heat, Spy and Ghostbusters, said he’d love to work with her, adding: “I think she is great. I’m a fan.” InterTalent chairman Professor Jonathan Shalit said: “I think her pulling power is phenomenal. Whatever role she does everyone is going to want to see her. We are talking a Sh6.3billion fee. “People are going to be fascinated to see her perform at the very start.”
Meghan has been given the go-ahead by the Intellectual Property Office in London to trademark the name of her and Harry’s planned foundation, Archwell, for “television shows” and “motion picture films”. The couple’s other big earning opportunities will include personal appearances, where they could command six or even seven-figure fees for attending an event.
In February, Harry gave his first speech as a private citizen at a JP Morgan conference in Miami. Insiders say it could have netted him up to Sh101.9million. The couple’s earning potential has exploded since they stunned the world by announcing plans to step away from royal life.