The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were ‘naïve’ and ‘out of touch’ in their understanding of how their Netflix deal worked, a source has claimed.
Pearl, the working title for Meghan Markle’s TV show, was officially scrapped last week as part of a wave of cutbacks prompted by the streaming juggernaut’s drop in subscribers.
It then emerged yesterday that the royal had wiped all references to the program from her Archewell website.
Now a source has explained how the pair may not have fully grasped ‘how the process of landing a show worked’. telling The Sun: ‘Executives feel that in some aspects Harry and Meghan appeared to be naive about how their deal would work.
The Duke, 37, and Duchess of Sussex, 40, were ‘naïve’ and ‘out of touch’ in their understanding of how their Netflix deal worked, a source has claimed
‘Certainly there was a belief that they thought that Pearl would simply be presented and released. The word was that they were saddened the show was not picked up.’
They continued to say ‘people forget’ that projects ‘face vetting’ and Netflix would have ‘the right’ to ‘oversee editorial direction’ in their work.
The source said Netflix would have ‘the best interests of the brand’ as a steaming giant, adding: ‘Just because they are royalty, they are not treated any differently to others in the arena of program commissioning.’
While the insider said Prince Harry and Meghan may have found it easier to ‘get in the door’ than others, Netflix would hold their projects to the same standard to ensure they are ‘good value.’
Despite being dumped by Netflix, the Duchess and her production team are reported not to see it as a fatal blow and are now said to be exploring other avenues
Despite being dumped by Netflix, the Duchess and her production team do not see it as a fatal blow and are now said to be exploring other avenues.
Meghan and executive producer David Furnish – Elton John’s husband – will pitch the concept to rival networks such as Apple and Amazon, according to the Sun.
She and husband Harry are permitted to sell on any products Netflix turns down under the terms of their contract with the streaming service.
A source told the paper: ‘Meghan and Harry will not give up on taking Pearl to the screen.
‘They are determined not to let all the work and creative endeavors put into the idea simply fall away.
Meghan and executive producer David Furnish – Elton John’s husband – will pitch the concept to rival networks such as Apple and Amazon, according to the Sun
‘Netflix has a standard deal with them, typical in Hollywood, allowing them to pitch projects rejected by them to other outlets. This is common practice within TV circles in Hollywood.’
The couple are believed to have good relationships with other platforms, after the Duke appeared on a series about mental health with Apple, while the Duchess has voiced a wildlife documentary for Disney, which also has a global streaming service.
Meghan and Prince Harry established Archewell Productions in the fall of 2020 to create scripted series, docu-series, documentaries, features, and children’s programming.
Pearl was expected to be the first animated series created by the production company.
The Duchess’ TV show was set to see a young girl inspired by Meghan – whose name means ‘pearl’ in Welsh – take on various social injustices, while highlighting the work of feminist icons
It was set to see a young girl inspired by Meghan – whose name means ‘pearl’ in Welsh – take on various social injustices, while highlighting the work of feminist icons.
A now-removed quote from Meghan about the series read: ‘Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges.
‘I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history.’
Despite dropping Pearl, insiders claimed Netflix remains optimistic about the Archewell deal and has several planned projects, including a documentary series called Heart of Invictus, which follows the recent Invictus Games.
Netflix made several cuts in late April and early May, including dropping two other children’s shows and firing staff.
Meghan’s representatives have been approached for comment.