Meghan chatted with star guest Mariah Carey during the broadcast. Carey, like Meghan, is biracial; it became a topic of conversation. “Because we’re light-skinned, you are not treated as a Black woman,” Meghan said during the show.
You’re not treated as a white woman. You sort of fit in between. If there is any time where there was more focus on my race, it was when I started dating my husband. Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a Black woman because up until then I was treated as a mixed woman and things really shifted.”
Previously, Meghan and Harry have stated that they experienced racial prejudice while they were still working members of the British royal family. In their Oprah Winfrey interview, Meghan said that a close member of the family expressed “concerns” over the likely color of her then-unborn children’s skin to Prince Harry.
Meghan has spoken previously about her biracial heritage. In a 2012 video for an anti-racism charity Erase the Hate, reported by ET.com, she said, “I’m biracial. Most people can’t tell what I’m mixed with, and so, much of my life has felt like being a fly on the wall.
Some of the slurs I’ve heard, or the really offensive jokes, or the names, it’s just hit me in a really strong way. And then a couple of years ago, I heard someone call my mom the N-word. “Certain people don’t look at me and see me as a Black woman or a biracial woman,” she added.
“They treat me differently, I think then they would if they knew what I was mixed with, and I think that is—I don’t know, it can be a struggle as much as it can be a good thing, depending on the people that you’re dealing with.”
In a 2015 Elle essay, Meghan recounted a time when her mother faced racist abuse. “We were leaving a concert and she wasn’t pulling out of a parking space quickly enough for another driver… My skin rushed with heat as I looked at my mom,” she wrote. “Her eyes welling with hateful tears, I could only breathe out a whisper of words, so hushed they were barely audible: ‘It’s OK, Mommy.’”
Meghan recounted in that same essay that she struggled to choose which box to check to indicate her ethnicity on a school survey. “When I went home that night, I told my dad what had happened. He said the words that have always stayed with me: ‘If that happens again, you draw your own box.’”
Meghan wrote that, as a biracial actress, “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.”
As per Thedailybeast, being so accustomed to having her identity weaponized against her, it makes sense that Meghan bristled against a seemingly innocent remark Carey made during the episode.
In an episode titled “The Duality of Diva” toward the end of the podcast, Carey joked that Meghan was a diva herself. “It stopped me in my tracks,” Meghan said afterward, of the remark. “I started to sweat a little bit. I started squirming in my chair in this quiet revolt. Why would you say that? My mind genuinely was just spinning with what nonsense she must have read or clicked on to make her say that.”
Then she added, “She meant diva as a compliment. But I heard it as a dig. I heard it as the word diva, as I think of it. But, at that moment, as she explained to me, she meant it as chic, as aspirational. And how one very charged word can mean something different for each of us—it’s mind-blowing to me.”