An international bestselling author has been accused of racism after she publicly bashed a video of Meghan Markle reading to her son Archie on his first birthday, branding the Duchess of Sussex ‘phony’ and ‘unmaternal’.
Emily Giffin, 48, who lives in Atlanta, wrote the 2005 book Something Borrowed, which was later turned into a movie starring Kate Hudson and John Krasinski.
However on Wednesday, she made headlines for a very different reason, after taking to Instagram to share a text conversation she had with a friend in which the two of them slammed Meghan, accusing her of trying to get ‘attention’ and of looking ‘fake and forced’ in the video, which was filmed by Prince Harry.
Under fire: Bestselling author Emily Giffin was accused of ‘racism’ on Wednesday after she branded Meghan Markle ‘phony’ and ‘unmaternal’ in a video of her reading to Archie
Criticized: The Duchess of Sussex, 38, was filmed reading children’s book Duck! Rabbit! to her son in a clip shared in honor of his first birthday on Wednesday
Emily shared a screenshot of the conversation on her Instagram Stories, revealing that her friend texted her ‘some thoughts’ about the clip, which was shows Meghan reading Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld to her son.
‘Some thoughts: Archie is adorable but that video screamed look at me! Look at me! I need attention as the doting mother. She’s a joke,’ the first incoming text, which was sent by Emily’s friend, read.
The messages continued: ‘It was also sad how she seemed just slightly annoyed Archie wasn’t fully cooperating to her standards. He’s [one] for crying out loud!’
‘Phony’: Emily, 48, shared a text conversation that she had with a friend about the video, in which the two of them accused Meghan of trying to get ‘attention’
Emily chimed in and agreed, texting her friend: ‘Completely,’ to which her pal replied, ‘I feel so sorry for that little boy.’
The author then wrote that she felt Meghan ‘seemed so unmaternal’ in the video, before adding: ‘It was so uncomfortable. She’s such a phony.’
In a later Instagram Stories post, Emily – who, ironically, describes herself as an ‘anglophile’ on Instagram, shared a grab from the video, which she captioned: ‘Happy Birthday Archie. Go away Megan.’
She continued in a third post: ‘Adorable child and book. But… Holy “me first”. This is the Megan show. Why didn’t she film and let Harry read? And why didn’t she take the moment at the end to say “He said daddy!” Because that would make it about Harry for a split second. God forbid.
‘Also, you want privacy for your child so you put our a video (by your authorized biographer) of him… wearing no pants?! Ooookay.’
Emily’s very candid thoughts about the clip – which was filmed in aid of non-profit organization Save the Children UK, and posted to the charity’s Save with Stories Instagram account – sparked a furious backlash online, prompting her to make all of her social media private in the hours after the posts were first shared and then re-posted to Twitter by user Kaitlin Menza.
Omid Scobie, a royal correspondent and author of an upcoming biography about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Finding Freedom, slammed Emily, calling her ‘hateful and pathetic’.
Another person added: ‘She clearly wants all the negative engagement she can get. She’s about to realize the Meghan haters don’t buy books or donate to charity. Hate is their only currency.’
Comments: In a series of posts shared on her Instagram Stories, Emily, who wrote international bestseller Something Borrowed, shared a screenshot of her texts, and an image of Meghan
Speaking out: She also shared more of her thoughts on the video, while slamming Meghan for not including Harry in the clip
Odd: Interestingly, Emily, pictured posing with Harry and Meghan cardboard cutouts, said in a 2018 interview that she ‘likes the royals’ and was planning to write a book about them
The author was also accused of racism, with one Twitter user writing: ‘White women hating black women who just mind their business and simply exist will always amuse me. She looks like one of those women that belittles everything black women do. How sad, pathetic and spiteful.’
‘Wow. (And I don’t mean that in a good way.)’ another person wrote. ‘Way to show their racist underbellies. That is not a good look on anyone. Meghan can’t win with these people.’
One user then added: ‘The fact that she uses her Instagram as a platform to bully someone who has never harmed anyone and she still thinks she’s a better person than Meghan is beyond me. People need to look themselves in the mirror!’
A handful of people came to Emily’s defense however, pointing out that her criticism of Meghan isn’t necessarily rooted in race.
However, following the backlash, Emily issued an official apology, insisting that she never meant for her words to have such a ‘negative impact’, and that she ‘loves that a biracial, American woman’ had married into the Royal Family.
‘To be clear, I absolutely loved that a biracial, American woman was marrying into the Royal Family,’ she wrote on Instagram.
‘It seemed a wonderful, happy thing for everyone. I celebrated their wedding by hosting a gathering here at my home and posting many, many photos. Further, I was appalled by any signs of racism against her.’
She continued by admitting that her ‘feelings about both Harry and Meghan have changed’ in the past few months, but made clear that her comments about them did not have ‘anything to do with [Meghan’s] race.
‘Further, I understood why she wanted to leave the monarchy and carve out her own path,’ Emily wrote. ‘I do, however, find fault with the way BOTH she and Harry handled things, and those feelings bled over in later posts, including the ones today.
‘I can see how some of my posts may have felt mean-spirited, and could be construed as having racial undertones. It was not my intent, but I understand that intent and impact are two very different things. And I am truly sorry for that negative impact.’
According to her Twitter critics, this is not the first time that Emily has been accused of posting ‘hateful’ things online, with one person accusing her of ‘behaving like this regularly’.
Indeed this is not the first time that Emily has come under fire for hitting out at the Sussex family; when Archie was born, she posted several Instagram Stories videos hitting out at the new parents’ choice of name and its lack of royal heritage. Emily also attacked Harry and Meghan’s decision not to give their son a royal title.
‘Then we have Archie, which has absolutely no history in the centuries of the British family,’ she said in the clip. ‘No Archies, no Archibald…’
She continued by saying: ‘Just Archie. Just Archie Harrison. Just Archie Harrison.
‘No royal title for Archie. Just Master Archie.’
Firing back: Royal correspondent Omid Scobie, author of upcoming Harry and Meghan biography, Finding Freedom, slammed Emily as ‘hateful and pathetic’
Fury: Others chimed in to share their outrage over Emily’s comments, with many accusing her of truly ‘hateful’ behavior
‘Sad, pathetic and spiteful’: One person accused Emily of being a ‘white woman’ who ‘hates ‘black women’
Escalated: One Twitter user brought Emily’s publisher, Random House, into the conversation, asking whether the company wants ‘to be associated with someone like this’
Interestingly, Emily revealed in a 2018 interview with US Weekly that she was actually considering writing a book about the royal family, using Harry and Meghan’s relationship as her inspiration, telling the publication that she ‘likes the royals’.
‘I’m toying with the idea of something set in the world of the royals,’ she said at the time. ‘Did you know that I like the royals? Did you know that? Maybe in the backdrop of the story line.
‘I think as much as I love the monarchy, I lived in England, I got up early to watch [Princess] Diana’s wedding when I was seven years old. … I watched The Crown, I’m obsessed with all things, I’m an anglophile.’
She added: ‘I think it would be really fun to set a book, a story, within that backdrop. Let’s say, for example, there’s an actress, and she gets to go on a blind date occurrence and then marries him. She’s really dysfunctional. I’m kidding. But that would be a good book.’
Emily’s criticism of Meghan and Archie’s video came just as the husband of the late author of the children’s book featured in the clip told DailyMail.com that he found the Duchess’s reading ‘beautiful, genuine, and relatable’.
In an email, Jason Rosenthal, the surviving husband of the late Amy Krouse Rosenthal said that he was touched to see his late wife’s book come alive with Meghan, Archie, and Prince Harry.
‘Although Meghan Markle is clearly one of the most famous people in the world, seeing her read Duck! Rabbit! to her son Archie was so relatable to any parent anywhere,’ he said.
‘There he was squirming around, smiling and just being a regular little boy. What a testament to Amy that her book has such meaning to so many families.’
The video, which was filmed by Harry last weekend in California, was posted on the Save the Children UK’s Instagram page Wednesday as part of the celebrity-backed Save With Stories campaign to help support kids affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Backlash: Emily’s comments about the video, which was shared in aid of non-profit Save the Children, sparked outrage
Upset: Some people accused Emily of racism over her comments, prompting her to issue an apology in which she insisted she never meant her words to have a ‘negative impact’
A statement released by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed the mom chose to read Duck! Rabbit! because it is one of ‘Archie’s favorite stories’
Meghan’s choice of Duck! Rabbit! suggests an early desire in her to teach her son to see both sides of an argument.
Published in 2009, the story features two unseen people debating whether the creature before them is a duck or a rabbit, with each making arguments to push their case.
Moved: On Wednesday, Jason Rosenthal, the husband of late author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who wrote the children’s book read by Meghan, called the Duchess of Sussex ‘beautiful and genuine’
Amy had published more than 30 children’s books between 2005 and her death in 2017. She is the only author to have three children’s books make the Best Children’s Books for Family Literacy list in the same year and is best known for her memoir Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
She announced she was terminally ill with ovarian cancer on March 3, 2017, by way of an essay entitled You May Want To Marry My Husband, which was published in the New York Times.
The tear-jerking goodbye took the form of a dating profile for her husband Jason with the intention of helping him remarry after her death. She died 10 days later at their Chicago home.
Jason estimates that 300 prospective suitors wrote to him, hoping to take his late wife up on her offer to help him move on.
The widower opened up about Amy, her dying wish for him to find love after she was gone, and his unbearable grief in his new memoir, My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, which was published last month.
He told the Washington Post that he has changed how he lives his life since Amy’s death. He has stepped away from real estate and is clocking in fewer hours at his legal practice so he can dedicate more time to his family, friends, and travels.
The widower also established a foundation in his wife’s name that funds ovarian cancer research and childhood literacy initiatives.
‘I definitely feel a shift in my work life,’ he said. ‘My life has extraordinarily more meaning.’
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