Meghan Markle took a DNA test and it turns out she’s… 43% Nigerian. That fact is how she kicked off her conversation with Nigerian-American comedian Ziwe for the seventh episode of her podcast Archetypes. Meghan added, “I’m going to start to dig deeper into all this because anybody that I’ve told, especially Nigerian women, are like ‘What?!’”
According to a Spotify spokesperson, Archewell Foundation is also making a donation to Save the Children and UNICEF Nigeria to support communities in Nigeria affected by devastating recent floods.
Ziwe responded to Meghan’s heritage with enthusiasm. “This is huge for our community,” she said. “No, honestly, you do look like a Nigerian, you look like my Aunt Uzo. So this is great.”
The banter kicked off an episode where Meghan explored the stereotype of the “angry black woman,” along with its history and the way it is applied to women today. The pair talked about Ziwe’s Instagram show Baited, which introduced her to a broader audience during the pandemic and how she has experienced double standards as a woman in male-dominated late night comedy.
“I grew up with culturally conservative parents who had a really like strict understanding of women, what women did and how they lived and they cooked and cleaned, etc,” she said. “And so, from that understanding, I also exist in society and I know what the expectations are of women there as well. And these things correlate. And so to be the character of Ziwe that is brash and rude and thoughtful is in direct opposition to what a woman should be publicly, according to sexism.”
For the bulk of the conversation, she spoke to Issa Rae about her own upbringing and how attending a live taping of Moesha helped inspire her to become a television writer. Meghan praised the show Insecure for fighting against stereotypes of black characters and portraying “nuanced, layered, multifaceted women.”
“I remember when I was auditioning, and even the idea of black roles,” Meghan said. “I remember those casting sheets where the description of the character, she always had to have an edge or an attitude.”
In response, Rae talked about the period of time when a stereotype of black women became more common on shows like Flavor of Love and Omarosa Manigault from The Apprentice. “I was like, this is a problem. And this is the only image, and there’s no nuance to it,” Rae said. “And so for me, it was just about trying to create other images and try to balance what was represented on television. And so, I started writing characters that were more like my friends and family members and that was my effort to combat that.”
Meghan also told Rae that she took a years-long break from drinking coffee, but was back. “I didn’t even think about it,” she said. “When I was on set, of course! Like Nespresso all day, every day. And then I didn’t really drink it in the U.K.”
Rae asked Meghan what made her go back to coffee. “I guess because life started to come back and so people started to come,” Meghan explained. “When guests come or meetings or when they’re like, Oh, would you like coffee? And I was like, Maybe I should join them.”