As part of their American efforts, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle managed to secure a potentially $100+ million contract with streaming giant Netflix. But will people watch what they produce? That’s what U.S. columnist Maureen Callahan asked in October 2020, and the question still lingers.
Harry and Meghan’s public image has struggled in the wake of the Oprah Winfrey interview in March 2021, with many calling the two out for their hypocrisy and stressing out his 95-year-old grandmother as her husband was dying.
However, the more interesting question isn’t whether anyone will watch what they produce, but can they produce anything.
When they first announced the Netflix deal, they promised the public the moon and the stars when it came to their new multi-media channel.
In their official announcement, the couple said, “Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope. As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us, as is powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens.”
Per Netflix, their projects include “documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming.”
This was announced in September 2020, and in the ensuing months only one project has been announced, a documentary about the Invictus Games. According to a statement, the series “will follow a group of extraordinary competitors from around the globe, all service members who have suffered life-changing injuries or illnesses on their road to the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, now set to take place in 2022.”
Though shining a light on the Invictus Games is great, when will the series come to fruition? And, more importantly, will anyone watch it?
Harry and Meghan have managed to pull in decent ratings with their Oprah interview and the Apple TV+ series Harry did with Oprah, but both trade off the royal name. People tuned in not necessarily because of the quality of the product, but to get dirt on the royal family. That’s what grabbed headlines.
The couple have yet to prove that they have the creative chops necessary to develop and produce unique and interesting content that will bring in viewers.
Netflix also can’t be happy that their first production was Oprah and Harry’s “The Me You Can’t See” and that the California couple now plans to take an extended break in order to adjust to life with baby Lilibet.
While no one can fault the two for wanting to spend time with their new daughter, the business world doesn’t care and, like any operation, Netflix wants a return on investment as soon as possible.
Apparently, Spotify is also nervous about Harry and Meghan’s paternity leave, with the couple producing one, single podcast that received a lukewarm response in December. It may take a bit to produce a quality product, but it’s been months.
Harry and Meghan may have secured mega millions deals, but they have yet to really live up to the hype. And as time goes on, their profiles and popularity continue to decline. Netflix and Spotify are no doubt a bit concerned if partnering with the former royals is really worth the effort.
Only time will really tell.
Picture from TMZ.