Meghan Markle hits out at Hollywood shows and Jordan Peterson for stereotypes of 'crazy, hot women'

11 October 2022, 13:44 | Updated: 4 November 2022, 10:10

Meghan Markle has hit out at How I Met Your Mother and Jordan Peterson
Meghan Markle has hit out at How I Met Your Mother and Jordan Peterson. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Meghan Markle has taken aim at TV shows How I Met Your Mother and Scrubs, as well as philosopher Jordan Peterson, in a discussion about Hollywood stereotyping "crazy" and "hot" women.

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Ms Markle said that Hollywood shows women as "crazy" to diminish their credibility in the real world, in the fifth episode of her Spotify podcast, Archetypes.

She cited the character of Barney Stinson, played by Neil Patrick Harris in the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, who said that if a female character was "this crazy, she had to be this hot".

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She also played a clip from Scrubs, another sitcom, where the character of Elliot, played by Sarah Chalke, confides in her friend about a relationship, saying: "I can't take it, Carla! I cannot hide the crazy a minute longer!

"I'm just this big mountain of cuckoo is about to erupt and spew molten crazy, all over him and he's gonna die like this."

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Ms Markle, 41, also drew attention to Jordan Peterson, who claimed that men could not control "crazy women".

She began the show, called the Decoding of Crazy, by claiming that women were used to being called mad in various ways.

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The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex
The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex. Picture: Getty
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with son Archie in 2019
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with son Archie in 2019. Picture: Getty
Meghan Markle in Tonga
Meghan Markle in Tonga. Picture: Getty

"Raise your hand if you've ever been called crazy or hysterical or what about nuts? Insane out of your mind, completely irrational, okay? You get the point," she said.

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She added: "Now, if we were all in the same room and could see each other, I think it would be pretty easy to see. Just how many of us have our hands up?

"By the way, me too. And it's no wonder when you consider just how prevalent these labels are in our culture."

Jordan Peterson
Jordan Peterson. Picture: Getty
The cast of Scrubs
The cast of Scrubs. Picture: Getty

Ms Markle revealed that she had done some research, finding out that "the word hysterical comes from hysteria, which is - wait for it - the Greek word for womb."

"Plato himself was actually amongst the Greek philosophers, who believed that the womb would travel around the body adding pressure to other organs, which would then lead to erratic and unreliable behaviour."

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The duchess said that calling someone "mad" has a silencing effect, which makes it harder for people experiencing real mental health problems to get help.

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She went on: "Calling someone crazy or hysterical completely dismisses their experience and minimises what they're feeling. 

"It keeps going to the point where anyone who's been labelled it enough times can be gaslit into thinking that they're actually unwell or sometimes worse, to the point where real issues of all kinds get ignored. Well, that's not happening today.

"I feel pretty strongly about this word, this label crazy the way that it's thrown around so casually...

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"From relationships to families, being shattered, the reputations destroyed and careers ruined the stigma surrounding the word. If it also has this silencing effect, this effect will women experiencing real mental health issues, they get scared, they stay quiet, they internalise, and they repress for far too long."

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Ms Markle has previously said that she has felt suicidal, during a bombshell interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey.

She said that at her lowest ebb her husband Prince Harry had found her a referral to a therapist. She said that it shows that you have to "be really honest about what it is that you need and to not be afraid to make peace with that to ask for it."

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