Denée Benton Says Meghan Markle Was 'Set Up For An Incredible Amount Of Abuse'

·2 min read
Denée Benton Says Meghan Markle Was 'Set Up For An Incredible Amount Of Abuse'
  • Actress Denée Benton is not holding back on what she thinks about the British royal family's treatment of Meghan Markle.

  • The Gilded Age star shared, "Being the first and only [person of colour], you’re really set up for an incredible amount of abuse."

  • Benton opened up about Meghan based on her experience as a Black woman in period dramas.

Actress Denée Benton is not holding back on what she thinks about the British royal family's treatment of Meghan Markle.

In a new interview in Tatler, the Gilded Age star shared, "Being the first and only [person of colour], you’re really set up for an incredible amount of abuse – the system isn’t set up to support you. And I think that [because of] the lineage of the really profoundly devastating effects of colonisation as it relates to the monarchy, you can’t necessarily just pop a black person in."

Benton continued, "It requires a lot of reckoning. Unless you’re ready to do that work, then the person who’s put in that position ends up suffering more than the changes they are able to make. It’s [going to take] much more than one person coming in to trigger all of that change. It doesn’t really work. They just get eaten alive or make the choice to protect themselves and [in the latter case], I’m like, power to you, sis!"

Benton is referring to Meghan and Prince Harry's decision to step down as senior working royals. In their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan shared, "there's a lot that's been lost already" in their relationship with the rest of the royals, and that when she was struggling with suicidal thoughts, she didn't receive the help she asked for.

"Nothing was ever done," Meghan told Oprah. "So we had to find a solution." The solution—what Benton calls the "choice to protect themselves" was that Meghan and Harry ultimately moved to California, and stepping back from their positions in the royal family.

Benton opened up about Meghan based on her experience as a Black woman in period dramas. Though she was cast in the Gilded Age as Peggy in late 2019, during summer 2020, Benton reached out to HBO explaining how she thought her character needed more depth. Her goal, she said, "was to get Black women as an integral part of the decision-makers on the creative team."

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