Duchess of Sussex to host Spotify podcast exploring female stereotypes

Meghan will host the series, called Archetypes, and will speak with historians and experts for the show.

Meghan Markle launches first podcast series Archetypes on Spotify Getty Images

The Duchess of Sussex has unveiled her first Spotify series – a podcast about female stereotypes, in which she vows to investigate “labels that try to hold women back”.

Archetypes will launch this summer, hosted by Meghan who will speak to historians, experts and woman who have experienced being typecast.

In a trailer for the Archewell Audio project released on Thursday, male voices are heard saying derogatory remarks about women including “she’s a slut” and “a little emotionally unstable”.

Meghan follows the excerpts, saying: “This is how we talk about women: the words that raise our girls, and how the media reflects women back to us… but where do these stereotypes come from?

“And how do they keep showing up and defining our lives?”

A male voice is heard saying “weaker, smaller, they are less intelligent” with a female voice saying: “People think I should be quiet and submissive”.

The teaser included a clip of Australian radio presenter Matt Tilley asking actress Amy Schumer in 2015: “Do you have the word skanky in America?” with Schumer replying: “We do have that word”.

The interview became notorious after Schumer shut Tilley down, branding his question about her character in the Trainwreck movie rude.

The trailer also featured US Dancing With The Stars host Tom Bergeron telling champion gymnast Simone Biles in 2017: “I was waiting for you to smile at some of the compliments, you didn’t.”

Biles won support at the time across social media for responding with: “Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals”.

The duchess, previewing the type of guests who will feature, adds: “I’m Meghan and this is Archetypes – the podcast where we dissect, explore, and subvert the labels that try to hold women back.

“I’ll have conversations with women who know all too well how these typecasts shape our narratives.

“And I’ll talk to historians to understand how we even got here in the first place.”

The announcement of Archewell Audio’s debut podcast series with Spotify comes after Meghan and the Duke of Sussex raised concerns about Covid-19 misinformation on the platform.

Meghan and Harry signed a lucrative deal with the audio streaming giant to host and produce podcasts, estimated to be worth around $25m (£18m), in late 2020.

But they had only released one show so far – a holiday special featuring their son Archie and celebrity guests.

Spotify and Archewell Audio said on Thursday: “Spotify and Archewell Audio both value responsible stewardship of the audio landscape, and as explained recently, are committed to working closely to support transparency and strong principles of trust and safety.”

In January, Neil Young reportedly offered Spotify an ultimatum to remove either his work or The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which has been known to air vaccine-sceptical views.

When the singer later left the streaming platform, Joni Mitchell announced the same move “in solidarity” with his decision.

At the time, the Sussexes’ charitable foundation said they had been expressing concerns but the couple were committed to continuing their work with the organisation.

Last week, a spokesperson for Archewell Audio confirmed its first series would air in the summer and that they had been working closely with Spotify towards policies aimed at minimising the spread of misinformation.

Meghan has long been a campaigner on female empowerment.

Spotify and Archewell Audio described her conversations with typecast women as “uncensored” and said the duchess would delve into the origins of stereotypes.

Former Suits actress Meghan is also an executive producer on the series, along with Ben Browning, Archewell’s head of content, and Rebecca Sananes, Archewell’s head of audio.

The podcast will be produced by Archewell Audio in partnership with Gimlet Media for Spotify.

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