Meghan Markle’s first Spotify podcast will focus on harmful labels and stereotypes applied to women, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced.
The “Archetypes” podcast, which is expected to launch this summer, will be hosted by Meghan and will explore the various ways that women are often pigeonholed or underestimated.
In a statement, the couple said that they were “excited” to be partnering with Spotify on the project and that they hoped it would help “drive important conversations”.
“Archetypes are one of the most powerful tools in storytelling,” they said. “They allow us to see ourselves in characters who may seem different from us on the surface but share similar journeys.”
It comes as no surprise that Meghan would want to tackle such an important issue, given her work as an actress and activist before she married Prince Harry. In 2017, she spoke out about the difficulties she faced as a woman in Hollywood, saying that she was “systematically” told to diet by producers. “I remember being told at the age of 11, after my first job, that I should lose weight if I wanted to have a career in television,” she said. “One woman who was working on the show said to me, ‘You should know that if you want a career in this business, you have to kiss goodbye to your dreams of ever being a size zero.'”
And, according to The Sunday Times, the couple’s first episode will see them explore “the damaging effects of gender stereotyping”.
A source told the newspaper: “They want to speak to women about the challenges they face and how stereotype threat can hold them back.” Thepodcast will reportedly also feature other big names, including former US First Lady Michelle Obama.
It comes as Meghan recently spoke out about the “staggering” statistic that one in four women have experienced domestic violence during the pandemic. The duchess made the revelations during a virtual panel discussion with activists Gloria Steinem and Alice Walker for the launch of her new children’s book, The Bench.
Meghan said: “With lockdown and all of the restrictions that have come with it, we know that domestic violence has increased almost 25 per cent globally. “That is staggering. And we also know that here in the UK, reports have increased by as much as 30 per cent since lockdown began.” She added: “So this is an issue that affects every one of us, no matter how big or small our circle might be.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been increasingly vocal in recent months about the need to champion causes that are important to them, and this latest announcement is likely to be seen as another example of their commitment to using their platform for good.
The couple’s production company, Archewell Audio, has signed a deal with the streaming giant to produce the show. In a statement, they said they were “excited” to be working with Spotify “to share impactful stories and spotlight important issues”.
“Through our work with diverse voices and producers, we hope to build connections and empathy so that we can all understand each other better,” they added. The news comes after Meghan made her return to the spotlight earlier this month with a guest editorship on Vogue. In her editor’s letter, she spoke about the “staggering” statistic that 64 million girls around the world are denied an education.
She also wrote about the need to “reject negative labels and stereotypes”, saying that “we need to recognise and celebrate the achievements of all women”.
It is not yet known what topics the podcast will cover, but it is likely that Meghan will use her platform to continue raising awareness about issues affecting women and girls. Archewell Audio’s deal with Spotify is reportedly worth more than $30 million (£24 million).