Prince Harry and Meghan Markle urged to 'ditch blame game' after Netflix move backfires

Royal commentator Celia Walden spoke about Netflix's decision to cancel Pearl, an animated production created by Meghan Markle, as the company moved to cut costs

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been urged to "ditch the blame game" after their Netflix move backfired.

Royal commentator Celia Walden spoke about Netflix's decision to cancel Pearl, an animated production created by Meghan, as the company moved to cut costs.

Ms Walden questioned the future of the Archewell brand, suggesting similar projects devised by the couple may be ditched.

She told The Telegraph: "How many more of Archewell’s projects might follow suit?

"Given they bypassed both Apple and Disney in favour of Netflix, it’s hard to avoid the irony (and the schadenfreude).

Meghan Markle was set to be an executive producer on the Pearl project.
Meghan Markle was set to be an executive producer on the Pearl project.

"As any therapist worth their salt might say: 'It’s time to start making better decisions.' Ditching the blame game would be a good place to start."

The series was set to focus on the adventures of a 12-year-old girl who is inspired by influential women through history.

Netflix did confirm, however, that they would continue to work with Archewell Productions on a number of projects, including a documentary series called Heart of Invictus.

Meghan and Harry signed a multimillion-pound deal with Netflix in 2020.

The news that Pearl is being dropped comes after it emerged that Netflix lost 200,000 users over the first three months of 2022, falling well short of predictions it would add 2.5 million subscribers.

Royal commentator Celia Walden has questioned whether more of the couple's projects may follow suit.
Royal commentator Celia Walden has questioned whether more of the couple's projects may follow suit.

Netflix has stumbled in the face of increased competition from the likes of Disney, Amazon Prime and the reopening of cinemas.

The US firm has seen its share value cut in half over the past six months as investors have grown increasingly concerned by the change in fortunes.

When Pearl was announced last July, Meghan said: “Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges.

Netflix has dropped the show as part of a cost-cutting process.
Netflix has dropped the show as part of a cost-cutting process.

"I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix, and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history.

"David Furnish and I have been eager to bring this special series to light, and I am delighted we are able to announce it today."

An announcement on the Archewell website, dated July 14, 2021, says: “Archewell Productions is creating its first ever animated series with Netflix.

“Pearl (working title) focuses on a young girl’s heroic adventure as she learns to step into her power and finds inspiration from influential women throughout history.

“Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex will serve as an executive producer of the series alongside David Furnish, Carolyn Soper, Liz Garbus, Dan Cogan and Amanda Rynda."

According to the Archewell website, Archewell Productions was created by Harry and Meghan “to produce programming that informs, elevates and inspires".