Meghan Markle unveils Spotify podcast series promising to 'investigate labels that try to hold women back'

Meghan Markle is launching her first podcast series.
Meghan Markle is launching her first podcast series.

The podcast 'Archetypes' is due to launch this summer and is Meghan's first series since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex signed an £18m deal with Spotify in late 2020

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The Duchess of Sussex has unveiled her first Spotify series – a podcast about female stereotypes, in which she vows to investigate “labels that try to hold women back”.

Archetypes will launch this summer, hosted by Meghan who will speak to historians, experts and woman who have experienced being typecast.

In a trailer of the Archewell Audio project released on Thursday, Meghan said: “This is how we talk about women: the words that raise our girls, and how the media reflects women back to us… but where do these stereotypes come from?

Meghan Markle listens to a broadcast through headphones during a visit to youth-orientated radio station, Reprezent FM, in Brixton, south London to learn about its work supporting young people.
Meghan Markle listens to a broadcast through headphones during a visit to youth-orientated radio station, Reprezent FM, in Brixton, south London to learn about its work supporting young people.

“And how do they keep showing up and defining our lives?”

The duchess, previewing the type of guests who will feature, adds: “This is Archetypes – the podcast where we dissect, explore, and subvert the labels that try to hold women back.

“I’ll have conversations with women who know all too well how these typecasts shape our narratives.

“And I’ll talk to historians to understand how we even got here in the first place.”

The Duchess of Sussex has unveiled her first Spotify series - a podcast about female stereotypes, in which she vows to investigate "labels that try to hold women back".
The Duchess of Sussex has unveiled her first Spotify series - a podcast about female stereotypes, in which she vows to investigate "labels that try to hold women back".

The announcement of Archewell Audio’s debut podcast series with Spotify comes after Meghan and the Duke of Sussex raised concerns about Covid-19 misinformation on the platform.

Meghan and Harry signed a lucrative deal with the audio streaming giant to host and produce podcasts, estimated to be worth around 25 million US dollars (£18 million), in late 2020.

But they had only released one show so far – a holiday special featuring their son Archie and celebrity guests.

Spotify and Archewell Audio said on Thursday: “Spotify and Archewell Audio both value responsible stewardship of the audio landscape, and as explained recently, are committed to working closely to support transparency and strong principles of trust and safety.”

In January, Neil Young reportedly offered Spotify an ultimatum to remove either his work or The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which has been known to air vaccine-sceptical views.

When the singer later left the streaming platform, Joni Mitchell announced the same move “in solidarity” with his decision.

At the time, the Sussexes’ charitable foundation said they had been expressing concerns but the couple were committed to continuing their work with the organisation.

Last week, a spokesperson for Archewell Audio confirmed its first series would air in the summer and that they had been working closely with Spotify towards policies aimed at minimising the spread of misinformation.

Meghan has long been a campaigner on female empowerment.

Spotify and Archewell Audio described her conversations with typecast women as “uncensored” and said the duchess would delve into the origins of stereotypes.

Former Suits actress Meghan is also an executive producer on the series, along with Ben Browning, Archewell’s head of content, and Rebecca Sananes, Archewell’s head of audio.

The podcast will be produced by Archewell Audio in partnership with Gimlet Media for Spotify.