Sunrise isn’t exactly known for its hard-hitting reporting. Nor is it regarded for staying non-biased or politically agnostic. But despite our low expectations, it’s still disappointing to see that the show’s hosts are intent on reinforcing damaging tropes about women.
The latest example comes from Edwina Bartholomew, who launched a bizarre diatribe against Meghan Markle this morning and the Duchess’s reported rationale for not attending Prince Philip’s impending funeral.
According to tabloids (very valuable intel resources, we know), Markle told friends that her reluctance to attend the funeral, aside from being heavily pregnant, stemmed from not wanting to be the centre of attention.
After the story aired, Bartholomew told viewers: “that just really gets my goat.”
“I’ve reserved judgment about those two for quite some time, but if that is true, it just makes me so angry. “I still liked Harry and Meghan, I just, I just feel I’ve turned now.”
The reason for her change of heart?
Bartholomew said she wished Markle would “just shut up” while the royal family grieved the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
“If she had gone, there would have been a lot of attention on her and it would have distracted I think,” she told viewers. “But just for them to say that out loud … just go with the Palace line would you? For once!”
Ah, yes, there’s nothing women need more than some fierce encouragement to stay silent on the issues impacting their lives. Meghan should just “go with the Palace line” and keep her mouth shut. Why should she have an opinion on anything?
Bartholomew even contradicted herself by acknowledging that Markle would have “distracted” given the unrelenting attention that’s been on her and her family since speaking out to Oprah about life as a Royal. An interview in which she bravely spoke about her mental wellbeing and the anguish she suffered in the years after marrying Harry.
“Meghan said her main concern right now is supporting Harry,” a friend of the Duchess allegedly told reporters. “She said she left it up to him as to whether or not she would attend the funeral,” they confirmed.
Reportedly, Markle’s doctors also advised her to refrain from travelling during pregnancy. Especially when such travel would include a two-week period in quarantine with a toddler.
From my end, Markle is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.
If she chose to attend, she would undoubtedly be the focus of attention. Tabloids would go into overdrive, analysing her every move and likely causing significant distress to not only herself, but Harry, Archie and the rest of the Royal Family. She would have been blamed for this of course.
How can she possibly make the right call when the media is intent on an impossible witch hunt?
Of course we expect this prejudice against Markle from certain men in the media (*cough, Piers Morgan). But it would be nice to think that female presenters would do their bit to change the narrative. Reinforcing the same sexist tropes women have fought against their whole lives is a sad indictment on a show that grows more out of touch by the second.