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Oprah With Meghan And Harry: A CBS Primetime Special

Source: Handout / Getty

by Ramona Holloway

I’m here for the lasting implications of the bombshell Oprah, Meghan and Harry dropped on the entire WORLD! It was appointment viewership. I sat down for entertainment and was gifted with the kind of interview only the “O” herself could give us. The socially distanced outdoor chat took me through a wide range of emotions. I was shocked, angry, sad and elated.

Instead of a simply salacious sit-down the trio of household names ultimately used tragedy in the best possible way. It was made clear that the interview wasn’t about money for them, though people did get paid. Commercials must have cost a fortune. Every website, including this one, is writing about it to rack up sellable page views. However, like many Oprah projects, there is a desire to speak to the greater good. Here are 5 takeaways that show what we can learn:

Your Test Can Become Your Testimony

The interview precedes their TV deal.  Mental health professionals who grew up with sick family members or are recovering from their own mental health struggles. Princess Diana spoke openly about her eating disorder, Bulimia. No one knows exactly what causes Bulimia but psychological and cultural factors play a role and so does emotional balance. Princess Diana was Harry’s mother, and from what we saw, she was a hands-on mother and her death deeply affected him. The world watched him as boy, be paraded through the streets behind his mother’s casket. He shed no public tears as millions of people around the globe tuned in for live coverage of her funeral. People like me who remember watching hours of TV following Diana’s car accident can’t even image the impact it would have had on her children. Harry was trained just like a child actor. It was a heartbreaking reality show.

Decades later Harry sits with a wife, who like his mother, was having a mental health struggle. He appears to be watching a frightening sequel to a horror movie made during his childhood.  Instead of sitting on the sidelines, Harry has teamed up with with Oprah for a mental health series, kicking it off with an interview that revolves around the cultural factors that can have a negative impact on the brain.

Elementary Family First

An elementary, or nuclear family is basically a couple and their dependent children. Other relatives revolve around them. In order to keep the union strong after marriage many newlyweds go through a leaving and cleaving process. They form an independent family unit. Meghan and Harry chose not to remain dependent on the royals because they would be forced to follow rules that would be emotionally abusive to Meghan and their son or leave. Sometimes people have to break ties with their family origin to live their best life. Everybody doesn’t come from a healthy family. Just ask the White family from West Virginia.

Culture Plays a Role in Mental Health

Growing up with a skin color that isn’t celebrated by your culture can be traumatic. It can inflict psychological wounds. It isn’t just an issue in America. My mom is a retired foreign language teacher and I remember her telling me that practically every continent on the map had a country where skin color makes a big difference in how you’re treated. The Oprah interview was viewed around the globe! There is a whole generation of people with hippie parents and grandparents who’ve wanted to teach the world to sing with Coca Cola. Buttons of every shade were pushed, the anti-racism elevator is going up.

Get Help By Any Means Necessary

Meghan hit a wall when trying to seek help inside “the firm.” She didn’t listen to the voice in her head telling her that the only thing that would please her haters is for her to stop breathing. Meghan listened to voices of friends who told her the truth about her situation. She didn’t listen to the voices cautioning her to keep quiet about her mental health. She sought help in spite of the culture she married.

Appearances Mean Nothing

People can look great and feel horrible. We’ve seen it time and time again. Princess Diana was a fashion icon. She was praised for the way she looked. Meghan spoke about smiling in pictures when she’d just finished crying. Pregnant and depressed, she attended a full glam event because she was more afraid to stay home with unhealthy thoughts. Social media and gossip headlines don’t tell the whole truth about anyone. When unhealthy people are most vulnerable the media can be the worst. Entertainers are still expected to show up because they are just entertainers. How can we forget the Lindsay Lohan interview on David Letterman? Read the headlines with compassion. There are two sides to every private story and no one owes their version to the public.