'Lazy, fake, grifters.' Harry and Meghan keep running into the same, specific problem.

There's a free-wheeling podcast conversation going on with a Very Important Man. 

“I wish I had been involved in the ‘Meghan and Harry leave Spotify’ negotiation," he says. "‘The F**king Grifters.’ That’s the podcast we should have launched with them." 

We? That's right. This Very Important Man is a Spotify Executive, who also has a show of his own. He's called Bill Simmons, and he was the first podcaster on the Forbes Celebrity 100 rich list. He started his own sport and pop-culture network called The Ringer, sold it to Spotify for $288 million in 2020, and is now in a senior leadership role there. So, Very Important. 

And Spotify, in case you missed it, just laid off 200 people from their podcasting division. Among them were Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess Of Sussex, who lost their contract, worth a reported $29million. Redundancy day may have been one of the few times in the prince's life when he and a junior audio engineer had something in common.

Watch the trailer for Meghan Markle's podcast, Archetypes. Post continues after video.

Video via Spotify. 

So, back to Bill, who was warming up to the topic on his show. 

“I have got to get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try and help him with a podcast idea. It’s one of my best stories … F**k them. The grifters.”


Okay. As much as we would all like to hear this drunken tale about Bill's right royal brainstorm, it's fair to say that as far as executives talking about big-deal talent goes, this is pretty extraordinary. 

Then, it got worse. 

The deal with Spotify has been in place since 2020, and only 13 episodes of a podcast featuring either Harry or Meghan has ever gone to air. And so, amid rumours that their output "didn't meet production expectations", people went digging. 

"Grifter Meghan May Have Faked Her Own Podcast Interviews" shouts a headline today, about how one academic who appeared on Archetypes, Meghan's award-winning show, was interviewed by a producer, not the Duchess, for her commentary on the word "Bitch". 

Another: "Royal courtiers thought the Sussexes were 'entitled, lazy and afraid of hard work'. Now Spotify bosses have reached the same conclusion." You guessed it, that was the Daily Mail, who are delighted that it isn't just them, any more, who relentlessly talk s**t about Harry and Megs. 

Bill has actually been doing it for a while. 

“Shoot this guy to the sun… I’m so tired of this guy," Simmons said about Harry in January, 2022. "What does he bring to the table? He just whines about s**t and keeps giving interviews. Who gives a s**t? Who cares about your life? You weren’t even the favourite son.

“You live in f**king Montecito and you just sell documentaries and podcasts and nobody cares what you have to say about anything unless you talk about the royal family and you just complain about them."


Um. We wonder if this was before or after Bill and Harry's cosy Zoom chat?

All of this speaks to a very specific problem that the Duke and Duchess keep running into. 

They are not royal any more. 

If they had to write down their occupations on a customs declaration (which would be awkward anyway, because Harry doesn't have a last name, and the box isn't big enough for 'His Royal Highness Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex') – it would most accurately read "Being Famous"

And the thing about Famous People is, they need projects to keep them famous. 

Actors and actresses need TV, movies and plays. Musicians need albums and tours. Models need shoots. And Harry and Meghan need to figure out what it is they do now.

All of these people need the media to tell people about their projects. Especially if they don't have social platforms of their own to tell them directly, which the Sussexes do not.

Harry has pissed off almost every media outlet on earth with his relentless, righteous legal battle against the press. The Sussexes had seven live lawsuits against news organisations on the books earlier this year. 

Harry has travelled to the UK to stand in a witness box and declare that it is his life's work to save journalism. He's also suing the British police force for refusing him security when he's in the UK. He's estranged from his family and so unprotected by their goodwill. 


In short, he's on his own. And if you're determined to make it alone, you'd better buckle down and work, work, work. The Americans, in particular, respect that, and those legal bills don't pay themselves.

But work at what? 

Harry and Meghan's three-part Netflix documentary series broke every record when it was released at the end of last year. It must make up the lion's share of the $150 million deal they'd signed with the mega-platform. But what is there to say in the next instalment? Harry has made a documentary about the Invictus Games as part of their deal which will be inspiring and classy, but unlikely to obsess the world in quite the same way.  

Listen to this episode of The Spill. Post continues after podcast.

The culture is tired of the story about his dad and his brother – who appear to be quietly getting on with things back in the UK, thanks – being mean to him. And the general public is also short of patience for the Prince's relentless complaining about the press. Even though we all know, on some level, that he is entirely right about the excesses of tabloid media and the effect of intrusions of privacy on mental health, no one really wants to be lectured about their enthusiasm for a little gossip by a privileged prince. 

No matter how open he is about his pain, Harry has become a fair-go punchline, the very definition of punching up. 


Pity poor Meghan, who has worked hard her whole life to be a public person with a profile, and is now unable to talk to any media outlets without fear of backlash or intense ridicule – see uber-cool The Cut's profile from August last year, which mocked her for everything from handing out food to the homeless to her interior decor to her announcing a return to Instagram (which never happened).

Everything she says or is said about her will be snatched and spun and run through an ungenerous filter determined to portray her and her husband as ungrateful, tone-deaf divas by the media Harry is at war with.  

Meghan, at least, is resilient. She might have a new home for Archetypes on another network already. She has signed, after all, with a big-deal Hollywood agency that only trades in A-listers, and they are not interested in claiming 10 per cent of nothing. There are persistent rumours that she's going to relaunch her lifestyle site The Tig – think Gwyneth's Goop, or Kourtney Kardashian's Poosh – which could capitalise on her aspirational Californian vibe in a safely irony-free environment. 

But Harry?

Given he says he reads everything written about him, including the comments, he must be having a very bad week. "Grifter" isn't a tag he would have been keen to add to his passport form.

That sound you can hear is him calling his lawyer, who is answering the phone in a house bought for him by the proceeds of a Prince's vendetta.

Image: Getty + Mamamia. 

Calling all internet users! Take our survey now and go in the running to win a $100 gift voucher!