BBC slammed for ‘racist’ & ‘disrespectful’ cartoon of Meghan Markle
The Black woman, that wrote and performed the skit, saw nothing wrong with portraying the Duchess of Sussex in this light
The British media has been incredibly brutal to Meghan Markle over the last few years but now a new cartoon has sparked outrage for taking the disrespect to the next level.
According to Newsweek, the BBC aired a comedy segment called, “Meghan Markle’s Royal Sparkle,” which features a cartoon version of the Duchess of Sussex that critics slammed for being “racist” and and problematic.
In a two-part comedy special called Tonight with Vladimir Putin which airs on BBC2, 3D digital cartoons of famous figures like Putin, Markle and others are made to interact with a live audience. In the episode that aired this weekend, a digital rendition of the Markle attempts to “relaunch her television career” by answering questions from fans.
When asked, “What makes you angry?” the cartoon brings up a time that Kate Middleton asked to borrow her hairbrush, stating, “I say no because that’s gross, and then I leave my room and come back… and I can tell she’s used my hairbrush anyway because it’s covered in skanky hair that’s going grey and I say, ‘Stay the f*** out of my trailer or I’ll cut you, Kate.'”
The animated Duchess also lashes out during another question by accusing an audience member of “trying to lay claim to [her] man.”
Michael Hogan from The Telegraph slammed the show for being “excruciating,” adding that, “portraying Markle as vacuous trailer trash with a penchant for violence was offensive and borderline racist.”
In a statement shared with Newsweek, Gbemisola Ikunelo, who not only wrote but also performed the skit, defended her work. She stated, “Anybody who has seen anything of Meghan Markle in public will know that she seems incredibly agreeable and friendly, always smiling. So I was interested in finding humor in the ridiculous.”
“If a character I chose to play happens to be angry in a moment, I’m okay with it. Because black people and people of color are entitled the whole spectrum of emotions being human demands,” Ikunelo continued. “So I’m done censoring legit choices and feelings because someone might misinterpret me as angry black woman. That trope belongs to the media, not to black women.”
But the reactions on social media remain mixed.
BBC animated cartoon will portray Meghan Markle as American trailer trash threatening to knife Kate Middleton. Can't wait to see how Sparkles reviews THIS on her Instagram. https://t.co/NfZ8WEONMz
— CABRAXAS (@CABRAXAS10) June 22, 2019