Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Hollywood comeback is already in jeopardy because executives have ‘had enough of them’ and the Royal Family has ‘played a blinder’ by ignoring their ‘negative’ attacks, Britain’s leading PR guru claimed today.
The Duchess of Sussex recently signed with William Morris Endeavor (WME) mega-agent Ari Emanuel whose clients include Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Serena Williams and other A-Listers – but WME is reportedly having second thoughts.
Meghan also appeared on the red carpet at Variety’s ‘Power of Women’ gala where she teased ‘exciting’ new projects for her and Harry. She also sat with two of LA’s most powerful women, one working for the Oscars and another high up at Universal Studios.
But Mark Borkowski, one of Britain’s most experienced crisis manager, has said that he believes that Omid Scobie’s Endgame – and the royal race row it sparked – has ‘backfired spectacularly’ for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. He is also convinced that the farrago over the Dutch translation naming King Charles and Kate ‘was clearly a publicity stunt’, a claim Mr Scobie denies.
Mr Borkowski has said that Meghan’s Hollywood relaunch is ‘clearly not working’. He claims that her new talent agency WME may be considering dropping her after less than six months amid signs the ‘Hollywood machine’ has ‘probably had enough of them’.
He told MailOnline: ‘Something is beginning to unwind at the heart of Meghan and Harry. I think 2024 is going to be seismic, either because they’re going to do something to recover and find a new positive tactic or it’s going to be the undoing of the brand. It can only go one or two ways. It can’t stay where it is at the moment. Because it’s clearly not working’.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry now have just one major media deal left with Netflix (pictured in their mini series) following the cancellation of the Duchess of Sussex’s Spotify podcast, Archetypes. Experts say 2024 is a make or break year for the couple
Meghan and Janet Yang, American film producer and the current President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Variety Power of Women event last month
Hollywood power broker Pearlena Igbokwe, chairman of the Universal Studio Group sat next to Meghan at the Variety event
He said the couple’s brand could be ‘finished’ in the next year because they are viewed so negatively, in part because of the dignified silence from the Royal Family in the face of ‘constant’ attacks by the Sussexes and their allies.
He said: ‘We’ve see countless appearances of Meghan on red carpets. The story of her being back in play in Hollywood is is all about Meghan trying to return to her own turf a nd being available for work and getting back to Hollywood.
‘But I would suggest they are getting perhaps conveniently left behind by the Hollywood machine, who have probably had enough of them and enough of the negativity.
‘They’re hinting their big plans ahead, but you know, we’ve heard that all before. So they have to deliver something now’.
On rumours WME might drop Meghan he said: ‘I suspect this is in fact true. It just shows that constant erosion of the institution is not working’.
Brand and culture expert Nick Ede told MailOnline that Endgame could be as dangerous for her career as Spare – her husband’s memoir – was for Prince Harry, claiming her representatives in LA will be worried she has ‘tarnished her reputation and could potentially damage the reputation of her agency’.
Mr Ede believes Meghan could soon become ‘too hot to handle’ after two members of Harry’s family were named as being at the centre of the race row allegations in a Dutch version of the book. He also claimed that the silence from the Sussexes since the book came out makes Meghan look ‘guilty by association’, despite vehement claims by Mr Scobie, who is an ally of the actress, and her friends that she had nothing to do with the book.
Mr Ede said: ‘The book written by Omid Scobie is potentially a career incendiary device for Meghan. Just as Harry’s own goal of a book has proved for him, the new book by Scobie unfortunately has fuelled a fire which many had thought would die down.
‘The issue for a huge Hollywood agent is that they will find it hard to navigate the career of Meghan fearing that more will come out over time and that, with court cases looming from her sister and potentially her father, she has tarnished her reputation and could potentially damage the reputation of her agency’.
Meghan Markle, pictured at Variety’s ‘Power of Women’ gala where she teased ‘exciting’ new projects – but experts have said that Omid Scobie’s book could be bad news for her reputation and deal with WME
Mr Scobie and sources close to Meghan insist that she had nothing to do with the book, pictured right. But brand and culture expert Nick Ede says Meghan could look ‘guilty by association’ because the Sussexes have remained silent
He added: ‘Meghan in the right hands is a superpower – the world’s most famous woman – and on paper she could make millions for herself and for whomever represents her. But she’s proving to be too hot to handle and, even though she hasn’t said anything about the book, she’s guilty by association and this is damaging for her and others as she plots her next career move’.
MailOnline approached WME for comment.
The New York Post has reported claims that WME has been left ‘horrified’ about the potential damage Mr Scobie’s book may have done to the Sussexes’ rebrand.
An insider also told the Daily Mirror that WME are ‘exasperated’ by the ‘never-ending scandal’ around the Sussexes.
Royal expert Angela Levin told GB News: ‘They [WME] said they were “horrified”, that can’t just be about the two names that were mentioned, it must be about their client, Meghan.
‘It seems to me that they will think very carefully what they do next. I have never heard such a well-known agency be clear about how they feel.’
Scobie has come under fire after a Dutch translation of the book appeared to accuse King Charles and the Princess of Wales of racism after Meghan Markle claimed that ‘concerns’ had been raised about the skin colour of her son Archie in her bombshell Oprah interview in 2021.
MailOnline last week revealed how a Dutch translator insisted that she had been sent a manuscript which named the two senior royals. The Times later reported that Scobie’s British publisher had sent a draft copy to the Dutch translator which contained the names.
Scobie has now insisted that he wrote his book ‘at lighting speed’ – despite first announcing in July last year that he was ‘working on a brand new book’ about the Royal Family. Several months later, in December last year, he announced the books’ title, Endgame.
The Royal Family put on a united front this week amid the fallout from Scobie’s race row by attending the Buckingham Palace Christmas Diplomatic Reception.
The King is expected to consult with his son Prince William to discuss the controversy, with Palace officials understood to be ‘considering all options’ including legal action.
The Sussexes have not commented publicly on the row, but a source close to Meghan denied leaking the names to Scobie.
Omid Scobie (pictured) has insisted that his controversial book accusing members of the Royal Family of racism was ‘written at lightning speed’ – despite having announced it last year
Queen Camilla, King Charles III, Prince William and Princess Kate are pictured at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. The senior royals put on a united front amid fallout from race row sparked by the Dutch translation of Scobie’s book
Omid Scobie began writing Endgame in at least July last year when he took to X, formerly Twitter, to ‘finally share that I’m working on a brand new book’
Scobie has refused to apologise to Charles and Kate for the embarrassing mishap which resulted in the explosive book being hooked from the shelves in the Netherlands.
The under-fire author has shrugged off criticism claiming the names were ‘known for a long time’ and instead put the blame at the Dutch publisher’s door.