Meghan Markle penned an emotional essay for Elle UK about her experience as a biracial actress in Hollywood.
In the piece, which was first published in July last year and resurfaced on Sunday, December 11, the Suits star, 35, opened up about the hardships she’s faced as an “ethnically ambiguous” talent in showbiz.
“Being ‘ethnically ambiguous,’ as I was pegged in the industry, meant I could audition for virtually any role. Morphing from Latina when I was dressed in red, to African-American when in mustard yellow; my closet filled with fashionable frocks to make me look as racially varied as an ’80s Benetton poster,” wrote Markle, whose dad is Caucasian and mother is African American. “Sadly, it didn’t matter: I wasn’t black enough for the black roles, and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”
Given the challenges Markle faced in her career because of her unique look, the Los Angeles native — who is currently dating Prince Harry — explained that playing Rachel Zane on Suits was a dream role because producers didn’t cast the part with a specific ethnicity in mind.
“The series was initially conceived as a dramedy about a N.Y. law firm flanked by two partners, one of whom navigates this glitzy world with his fraudulent degree. Enter Rachel Zane, one of the female leads and the dream girl — beautiful and confident with an encyclopedic knowledge of the law. ‘Dream girl’ in Hollywood terms had always been that quintessential blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty — that was the face that launched a thousand ships, not the mixed one,” she wrote. “But the show’s producers weren’t looking for someone mixed, nor someone white or black for that matter. They were simply looking for Rachel. In making a choice like that, the Suits producers helped shift the way pop culture defines beauty.”
Markle continued: “The choices made in these rooms trickle into how viewers see the world, whether they’re aware of it or not. Some households may never have had a black person in their house as a guest, or someone biracial. Well, now there are a lot of us on your TV and in your home with you. And with Suits, specifically, you have Rachel Zane. I couldn’t be prouder of that.”
The brunette beauty’s essay comes just over a month since her royal beau, 32, spoke out against those who have criticized her amid news of their romance. As previously reported, Harry publicly acknowledged his relationship with Markle in a statement released on November 8.
“The past week has seen a line crossed,” read the one-page letter released by Harry’s communications secretary, Jason Knauf. “His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”
The statement continued, “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game.’ He strongly disagrees. This is not a game — it is her life and his.”
Harry and Markle (who was previously married to film producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013) began dating in June.
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