Meghan Markle looked set to turbo charge her career after signing with a high profile Hollywood talent agency but almost six months later, little has been announced officially to demonstrate the success of the partnership.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex suffered a fall from grace after the release of Prince Harry‘s memoir led to him being ridiculed by comedians in January.
The pair plummeted in U.S. public opinion polling conducted on Newsweek‘s behalf by Redfield & Wilton, however, Meghan appeared to breathe new life into her career when it was announced in April that she had signed with Hollywood powerhouse agency WME.
Much was written about how star agent Ari Emanuel could transform her fortunes across multiple industries, including film and TV production, brand partnerships and more, with Variety landing the exclusive at the time.
Approaching six months on from the announcement of the deal there is little publicly known about to show for it.
Perhaps it is too early for the partnership to have born fruit, though their Netflix deal was announced in September 2020, less than six months after they first moved to America—even though they found, bid for and bought a new house during the same period.
However, Roz Sheldon, managing director of U.K. PR firm Igniyte, told Newsweek that a slower approach may be no bad thing after past missteps sparked criticism.
“In terms of the online world, six months is a short space of time that you can use to start building behind the scenes,” she said.
“That would have been a sensible approach, slowly building behind the scenes and working out who she is and how she wants to come across because she’s had a lot of stick.”
Meghan Markle Signs With WME
It is difficult to say for sure how far back Harry and Meghan’s involvement with WME goes as the prince credited Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, its head of worldwide literary, speakers and conference divisions, in the acknowledgements in his memoir Spare, released in January.
He wrote: “Thanks and hugs to Jennifer Rudolph Walsh for her always positive energy and soulful counsel.”
Books are very much Walsh’s specialty, however, so it may well be that her advice at the time was limited to Harry and Spare.
Interestingly though, one of Harry and Meghan’s earliest deals back in 2020 was with public speaking specialists the Harry Walker Agency, owned by Endeavour, which also owns WME.
Either way, when it was announced in April that they would be representing Meghan, and the couple’s Archewell Productions TV company, there was much excitement.
Two months later it was announced that Harry and Meghan’s Spotify deal had collapsed but again WME appeared to offer a silver lining.
The Wall Street Journal quoted a representative at the agency stating the couple were developing new content for the same audience as Meghan’s Archetypes podcast only for a different platform, though nothing has yet been announced.
Where Meghan Goes Next
Of course, it could well be that a new deal is still being thrashed out or that news of its signing has yet to be made public as the couple quietly work on producing some new content.
However, it is a recurring feature of Harry and Meghan that speculation about them tends to build whenever a vacuum of information is allowed to develop.
This was seen most recently when they took a step out of the limelight for several months and unfounded rumors began circulating that they were secretly getting a divorce. The gossip appears to have been false based on the loved up photos and videos of the couple that came out of Harry’s Invictus Games, in September.
So far, Invictus and a visit this week to New York for a World Mental Health Day festival have done enough to keep the questions at bay.
However, it may not be long before the questions start to mount, leaving Meghan either under pressure to announce something new—if there is something bubbling away behind the scenes—or find something if there isn’t.
Sheldon told Newsweek: “She’s lurched from one thing to another very publicly. Oprah, the Netflix documentary and everything else.
“She’s come under a lot of criticism so I think taking more time is probably sensible for her, building behind the scenes and making that deal work with the right things in place, rather than looking like she wants to be constantly in the limelight.
“We try to build things for people who have been very openly in the spotlight and criticized in the media. It is very difficult and it needs to come from within.
“It is being credible but making sure it comes from somewhere that is quite transparent and it is really you and you feel that is the way you want to go.
“Taking her time is probably the best step now because she needs to reasses and do it a bit more slowly.”
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