Claims that Meghan Markle insulted orphan students and upset teachers with harsh words have been debunked by Netflix staff. The controversy stems from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s team making specific requests during the filming of a Netflix documentary featuring Harlem elementary students during their 2021 visit to New York.
Documents obtained through a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request by dailymail.com shed light on how the Sussexes’ high-powered aides worked behind the scenes to present them in a positive light during public appearances filmed for their $100 million Netflix documentary.
During one stop on their three-day tour, representatives for Harry and Meghan discussed the idea of bringing cushions and a new carpet to a public school in one of New York’s low-income areas to align with Meghan’s aesthetic preferences.
The secretary documented the conversation between the school representative and Meghan before the visit. Meghan expressed her concern that the school’s actual campus did not meet her expectations in terms of aesthetics, making it challenging to capture beautiful PR photos. The Duchess was willing to cover the expenses to enhance the filming area’s appearance and make it more orderly.
A source from Netflix revealed that Meghan’s repeated criticism of the environment and hygiene during her visit left the principal embarrassed. Meghan’s actions and words left a negative impact on everyone working at the school, as they felt that she did not contribute positively to the children’s experience but rather made them feel disrespected.
The emails obtained also revealed that Archwell staff had significant input into which schools they would visit. They went through multiple edits of press releases to portray their appearances as more substantial and even amended the public diary for top school officials. The guest list for their events was tightly controlled and restricted to publications that were favorable to Meghan, such as Vogue, while British tabloids were excluded.
The students and faculty at Harlem Elementary School were asked to sign consent forms for filming, which also prohibited them from discussing the project or making negative remarks about the famous couple.
The principal expressed regret about accepting Meghan’s visit, stating that the amount of money spent on aesthetics could have been better utilized for updating the library or creating scholarships for the children, giving them hope instead of subjecting them to dull lectures they struggled to understand.
In the midst of the controversy, some hope remains for the school as they acknowledged the positive aspect of Meghan’s visit, particularly the donation of vegetables that allowed students to study decomposition and food safety. Despite the controversy, it is clear that there is still an opportunity for positive contributions to be made in the future.