ABC News responds to backlash after posting problematic Meghan Markle headline

When Prince Harry and actress-turned-activist Meghan Markle first revealed they were engaged, Black Twitter was overjoyed. Yet, after ABC wrote a headline that suggested Markle was somehow fulfilling a long-held dream of black women everywhere, Twitter went wild.

GMA published an article titled, “For many black women, Meghan Markle’s engagement offers ‘hope’” and people were not impressed. They were so upset that the author has been getting hate mail since its publication.

The article was written by black journalist Joi-Marie McKenzie. It quoted black women from other media outlets and discussed the significance of Markle’s engagement as well as her struggle with racial identity.

McKenzie has said she didn’t title the piece and that part of the story had nothing to do with her. She took to Twitter to explain.

Adedamola Sokoya said on Twitter, “Respectfully, I think Black Women had hope before Megan Markle’s engagement.”

To which McKenzie replied, “I agree with you. I think readers are getting caught up on the headline, rightfully so. But I didn’t pick it nor pen it. My assignment was about black women’s excitement and I think the article reflects that.”

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That didn’t stop people from being offended, however, and they vented plenty on social media. The actual story didn’t seem to match the headline with some pointing out it was unfair to punish the writer.


ABC has now responded to the backlash, changed the headline and added an editor’s note to the story.

It reads:

The story headline has been updated. The original headline misrepresented the intention of the story, which was to report on the excitement among some black women about Meghan Markle’s joining the British royal family.

This is just another reminder that in this era of “fake news” allegations we all need to read past the headline and pay close attention to the actual content.

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