BLACK VOICES
07/09/2020 13:56 EDT | Updated 07/10/2020 18:25 EDT

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Son Says Meghan Markle's Media Treatment Isn't Surprising

Both Meghan and Prince Harry have decried the racist and misogynistic way the press has covered the Duchess of Sussex.

Martin Luther King III said he was “greatly disappointed” but not surprised by how the British media has treated Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, in a new interview with British news outlet iNews.

“The reports that I saw were very, very, very difficult reports of how she was treated,” the son of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. said during a conversation about the anti-racism protests sweeping the globe.

“I’m not surprised,” King continued, “because these institutions have been here forever. And the institutions have been structured in a certain way.”

King noted that “there was going to be pushback” when Prince Harry fell in love “with someone who is not in the traditional set of circumstances,” and added that “we have to still continue to work through to rid our society of racism.” 

As a Black American woman, Meghan has been subjected to both racist andmisogynistic coverage since the beginning of her courtship with Prince Harry. The two are now married and have a son.

The Duke of Sussex has repeatedly condemned the British media’s “ruthless campaign” against his wife.

Eric Vitale via Getty Images
“We have to still continue to work through to rid our society of racism,” said Martin Luther King III.

“My wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences — a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son,” Harry said in a fiery statement released in October 2019, announcing the Duchess of Sussex’s lawsuit against Associated Newspapers, which owns the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. 

Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers for publishing part of a private letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, in 2018 (sections of the letter were published in February 2019).

Associated Newspapers argues that it had a right to publish the letter, given that one of Meghan’s friends anonymously spoke about its existence in a People magazine feature published on Feb. 6, 2019, three days before. 

In new court documents obtained by HuffPost last week, Meghan’s legal team detailed the “hundreds of thousands of inaccurate articles” written about the duchess and how she felt that she was unable to protect herself with the palace’s policy of responding “no comment” to stories she knew to be untrue.

The Kensington Palace Communications Team also reportedly instructed her family and friends to follow this policy, leaving some friends feeling “silenced” and concerned about the “tremendous emotional distress and damage to [Meghan’s] mental health.” 

“As her friends had never seen her in this state before, they were rightly concerned for her welfare, specifically as she was pregnant, unprotected by the Institution, and prohibited from defending herself,” the documents say. 

Clive Mason via Getty Images
Prince Harry said last year that his wife, Meghan Markle, "has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences."

On Thursday, Meghan’s legal team filed a witness statement, viewed by HuffPost, in High Court to protect the identity of the five friends who spoke up on the royal’s behalf for an anonymous People magazine feature last year. 

The duchess said Associated Newspapers wanted to expose the identity of her friends outside of the courtroom “for no reason other than clickbait and commercial gain” and called the move “vicious.”

A spokesperson for Mail on Sunday told HuffPost that “The Mail on Sunday had absolutely no intention of publishing the identities of the five friends this weekend.” 

“But their evidence is at the heart of the case and we see no reason why their identities should be kept secret,” he added. “That is why we told the Duchess’s lawyers last week that the question of their confidentiality should be properly considered by the Court.”

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