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Meghan Markle says Deal Or No Deal objectified women

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle
Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth – Pool / Getty Images

After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle took a month or so off from her Spotify podcast Archetypes—Presumably out of respect to her husband and his family and not because she knew she’d say something about how the Queen treated her if she got in front of a podcast mic. But now, with the show’s latest episode, the Duchess Of Sussex has decided to take some shots at a different surprisingly beloved institution: The old NBC reality / game show Deal Or No Deal. One of Markle’s early show business jobs was serving as one of the show’s briefcase models during its second season, and speaking with Paris Hilton on Archetypesshe said that she would get a pit in her stomach during the show because, “I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage.”

Markle added that she was “forced to be all looks and little substance” and that she was “reduced to this specific archetype: the bimbo.” The premise of the show, for those who don’t recall, was that a contestant would pick a numbered briefcase containing a secret amount of money from a big collection of briefcases that all had a model… standing by them. The contestant would eliminate briefcases and then find out how much was in each one, narrowing down the options of what would be in their briefcase. Then they would get calls from an unseen “Banker” who would offer to buy their briefcase for an insultingly low number, and they’d have to decide whether to take it or to keep playing. It was an unbelievably huge hit. Everybody went briefcase crazy.

But now people are mad about Markle’s representation of what Deal Or No Deal was like, and we don’t mean regular people; We mean famous people. During a recent episode of The View (Street Entertainment Weekly), Whoopi Goldberg argued that nobody watching Deal Or No Deal was objectifying the models, saying, “they’re just thinking, ‘I want the money.'” Goldberg went on to suggest that Vanna White isn’t objectified on Wheel Of Fortune because she’s “always in something interesting and beautiful” and if Markle felt like the models on her show were being objectified then that’s on her because they’re just doing their jobs as performers.

It’s a hell of a point, and her The View cohost Sunny Hostin noted that Markle’s comments did make her think about the way women with certain body types are treated by the entertainment industry, but Goldberg shot that down by saying, “That’s TV, baby. But what did you think you were going to? You know that’s what the show was. ”- And it kind of seems like we’re soooo close to putting it together there. “That’s the point of the show” and “it objectifies women” can both be true!

Anyway, Goldberg isn’t the only one who doesn’t agree with Markle’s take on Deal Or No Deal. Fellow former Deal Or No Deal model (and former Real Housewives Of Atlanta cast member) Claudia Jordan told TMZ that nobody was forcing them to be “bimbos,” but that it was a modeling job and they all knew that going in. Another former Deal Or No Deal model, Donna Feldman (who is also on The Oval), told HollywoodLife that nobody was ever treated like a “bimbo” while they worked on the show, but that even if the show is only interested in how she looked, it didn’t stop her getting other jobs with her personality or intellect or work ethic.

It seems unlikely that Markle will address any of this again, since her podcast seems very Produced and she’s smart enough to know that it wouldn’t help her or anyone else to keep this whole thing going, but we’ll see.

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