CNN’s Don Lemon says Meghan Markle only recently understanding what it’s like to be ‘treated like a Black woman’ is ‘shocking’

Don Lemon has shared his thoughts on Meghan Markle’s latest episode of Archetypes, in which she and Mariah Carey discussed race and their identities as biracial women.

During a broadcast of CNN’s New Day on Wednesday, the CNN host praised the Duchess of Sussex for her “eye-opening” podcast and speaking out against “colourism”. However, Lemon expressed that Meghan was speaking from “a place of privilege” because she “did not have to deal with racism until she married a white man.”

“What she is coming from is a place of privilege where she did not have to deal with racism until she married a white man,” Lemon said. “And she’s got all this criticism and all this attention. And suddenly she understood or understands what it’s like to be part of a group of people, especially women in this country or in Europe, who are discriminated against.”

He continued: “Actually, I think it’s an eye-opening podcast and I commend Meghan Markle for going there, even though it is a bit shocking that at 30-something years of age, she is just understanding what it’s like to be a Black woman in America. It’s a bit surprising to me.”

In the second episode of the Archetypes podcast, titled “The Duality of Diva”, Meghan Markle revealed to her guest Mariah Carey that her relationship with Prince Harry was the first time in her life that people started treating her as a Black woman.

“I think for us, it’s so different because we’re light-skinned,” Meghan told Carey. “You’re not treated as a Black woman. You’re not treated as a white woman. You sort of fit in between.”

“I mean, if there’s any time in my life that it’s been more focused on my race, it’s only once I started dating my husband,” Meghan replied, referencing her relationship with Prince Harry. “Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a Black woman. Because up until then, I had been treated like a mixed woman. And things really shifted.”

When CNN New Day co-anchor Brianna Keilar asked Lemon to weigh in on the podcast, the journalist emphasised that colourism is something he has spoken about in the past.

“Look, there are a couple of things at work here. There’s colourism, which I talk about. There’s colourism in the Black community,” he said. “In some ways, she’s saying that she had privilege and so therefore it didn’t apply to her because it never happened to her. Right?”

“She was a mixed woman. People didn’t really know how to react to her. They didn’t know if she was Black or white, but she didn’t get the full Black treatment because people weren’t sure that she was, you know, Black,” he added. “I think most African Americans probably looked at her and said, ‘Oh, I know that’s a Black woman,’ but I think the larger culture may not have realised that.”

Since Meghan Markle dropped the first episode of her podcast, as part of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s multi-million dollar deal with Spotify, Archetypes has already unseated Joe Rogan as the Number One podcast on Spotify’s US podcast rankings.

The hour-long debut episode also reached the top spot in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand Spotify podcast charts.