Meghan Markle’s cover interview with Vanity Fair made headlines around the world last week, and saw the Suits star speak publicly about her relationship with Prince Harry for the first time. For Meghan’s friend and fellow actress Priyanka Chopra, however, the focus of Meghan’s interview was ‘sexist,’ and indicative of the way in which women are often presented in the media as ‘just a plus one.’
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight at the Toronto Film Festival screening of her latest film Pahuna: The Little Visitors (which she also produced alongside her mother, Madhu), Priyanka pulled no punches when she was asked about her friend’s Vanity Fair profile.
‘I don’t know if I will get in trouble for this, but I have an opinion. I mean, she’s on the cover of Vanity Fair. It would have been nice to write about her not just her boyfriend,’ she said. ‘I’m just saying. I mean, she’s an actor, she’s an activist, she’s a philanthropist. I mean, she does so much more.’
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Despite ostensibly focusing on Meghan, the Vanity Fair feature in question devotes significant column inches to Harry and his family, and includes extensive commentary from a prominent royal expert: all this despite Meghan explicitly stating in her interview that she has ‘never defined [herself] by [her] relationship.’
Elaborating on her criticism, Priyanka described the feature as ‘just a little sexist,’ adding: ‘Look, I’m a feminist and I love boys, okay. The only thing I’m saying is that there needs to be a certain sense of equality where a woman is not just a plus one, you know. It’s nice to be your own identity too.’ It’s hard not to agree with the actress’s sentiments.
The actress devoted the rest of her time on the red carpet to address the scarcity of rewarding opportunities for women in the entertainment industry, revealing that she will keep fighting for change in order to make things better for the next generation of female actresses, writers and directors working in Hollywood.
‘I’m digging my feet in and not going to settle,’ she said. ‘Because it’s going to take people like me, like a lot of other women out there, to make it easier for the next generation where they don’t have to feel like, “Oh, there are not parts written for us. We always have to stand behind the guy.” [We have to] create parts for ourselves because nobody else is going to do it.’