Melissa: You're still with The Takeaway, and I'm Melissa Harris-Perry. As we wrap up today's show, I want to introduce you to a member of Team Takeaway.
Zachary: Hey everyone, this is Zachary Bynum digital producer for The Takeaway.
Melissa: All right Zach. You know that as our resident zoomer, we always like to come to you when it's time to talk pop culture. I know we're going to end the show as a little game today. What you got for us?
Zachary: The game is three bags one trend, just like two truths, one lie. Today we're just going to switch it up for our Public Radio family.
Melissa: All right. Three Megs and one trend, who's our first Meg?
Zachary: Well, our first Meg is Meghan Markle.
[God Save the Queen]
Melissa: Right. Megan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. I assume we're talking here about Harry and Megan, that six-part series it was released on Netflix back in December. It's got a lot of very mixed reviews. I know some people have heralded it as part of their commitment to breaking the silence around the unseen downsides of royal life. Other people have been really critical and seen it as self-serving. Here's a little clip.
Speaker 3: She's becoming a royal rockstar.
Megan Markle: Then--
Prince Harry: Everything changed.
Melissa: Some really interesting anti-imperial meets the Empire Sun setting on the British flag royal marriage. I have remained pretty interested in this love affair.
Zachary: Yes, me too. I think that the royal wedding itself just introduced a new era to the royal family and to the crown that at this point it's inevitable, it's impact, but there's just going to be so many different ways that culture changes from that particular moment and obviously them leaving.
Melissa: I guess for me the big takeaway is after all the United States of America, we did have a revolution and get free of the British Empire. It's fascinating to watch Harry marry a Black American woman and in fact escape the empire.
Zachary: I think my takeaway was how the media was so brutal and bully-ish towards Meghan, and how we see that play out towards other Black women in popular culture. I think the UK media depicted her as a clout chaser. They made her seem like she was difficult. They filled a lot of dysfunction in her life that they have still yet to really apologize or take accountability for.
I think the way that the UK media was covering Meghan also really negatively impacted her mental health. She talks about depression, anxiety, suicidality, and how for her, she just felt like there wouldn't have been as much buzz if she had not been there which is so sad to think. She says that the stress and anxiety really took a toll on her, and Harry believes that it's the reason that they lost their second pregnancy. I think all of those things were working together to me to paint like, wow, okay, this was a clear takeaway that I should have been paying a little bit more attention to over the last couple of years.
Melissa: All right. If media bullying and the question of how Black women are depicted was a big takeaway for you, then that brings us to our second Meg, right?
Zachary: Surely does, which is Megan Thee StallionBody, Houston Hottie, and fellow Aquarius, yes ma'am.
[Body by Megan Thee Stallion]
Melissa: All right. What's the Megan Thee Stallion update, because we did a little bit on this on the show.
Zachary: Yes. I had a conversation with Gabby Bulgarelli, senior producer of Louder Than a Riot. It's an NPR podcast and this is what she had to say:
Gabby: I think what doesn't matter is Megan's history with alcohol or possibly aggression when she's drinking. I think what scares me about lines of questioning like that are, they feed into this narrative that Black women are just deserving of violence or Black women are strong enough to just accept it. Wrong. We're not here to talk about whether or not anyone deserved to be a shot, we're here to talk about how someone became a victim of gun violence and the state is trying to hold someone accountable for that.
Melissa: All right, Zach. Gabby had a lot to say there and since we've covered this case here on The Takeaway, there's been a development with Tory Lanez who was accused of shooting Megan, right?
Zachary: Yes. He has been found guilty and faces up to 23 years in prison, but he has not been sentenced yet. I will say that the backlash on social media has been its own phenomenon itself. I think that we've seen a lot of the negative impulse of some people in hip-hop to protect men's reputations over women's lives, and it is not a fun thing to watch on social media.
Melissa: All right, Zach. That's two Megs down, bring us around to our third Meg.
Zachary: Our third Meg is M3GAN, the Android doll killer who's coming to haunt you in your dreams tonight.
Gemma: Ever since I was little, I dreamed of this perfect toy that would protect a kid from ever feeling lonely or sad. This is M3GAN.
Katie: Hi M3GAN, I'm Katie.
M3GAN: It's nice to meet you, Katie. Do you want to hang out?
Zachary: Yes. There is a new movie coming out called M3GAN. M3GAN spelled with a three. It's about an Android doll that comes to life and basically torments a whole town. It's falling under this comedy horror genre and I'm super excited about it because I think it'll be really fun to watch how people take it. I'm sure we'll see some Halloween M3Gs this year and all the things. That's our third Meg.
Melissa: Is this the thing that Z-Gen worries about the possibility of robots coming to life and getting you in your sleep?
Zachary: I wanted to ask you the same thing. I feel like we're just taking on a lot of the cultural fears that have been embedded to us from prior generations about all of the creepy, harmful stuff that can happen with A.I. and robots and I think we're just trying to like play around with it. Also, I'm sure a few of us who will be watching will be like, hmm, could this be a thing for real because I don't know if we're ready.
Melissa: I don't know. I feel like as an X Gener, I might be afraid of it, but I'm also really confident about my capacity to live in the world without my phone in a way that maybe feels more frightening for the Zoomers.
Zachary: Probably because I'm telling you, I can't even get around the corner without my phone.
Melissa: All right. Come around and bring it home for me, what is the trend in our Three Megs and a Trend?
Zachary: Our trend is RuPaul's Drag Race came to MTV meaning that it's going to have a much larger audience. Now, more and more people are going to be exposed to the beauty and the joy of drag.
RuPaul: Bosco, your electric bugalou was breaking new ground. Condragulations, you're the winner of this week's challenge.
Bosco: Yay, baby [unintelligible 00:07:04]
RuPaul: You've won a cash prize of $5,000.
Bosco: Thank you so much. When RuPaul tells you condragulations, all I feel is just your elation.
Zachary: I think it's probably a super big trend for me because as you know we've been covering it on the Takeaway too. Dragphobia has been on the rise.
We've seen all of these unprecedented attacks on drag shows and drag library readings, and so I think that the fact that popular culture is moving towards not shying away, but continuing to push and push the humanity and beauty of the LGBTQ+ community to massive audiences is a trend that I think we are likely to probably catch on more of in 2023.
Melissa: I think as you might say, that is one that I love to see.
Zachary: Right. We do love to see it. We do.
Melissa: This has been a lot of fun Zachary Bynum digital producer for The Takeaway. Thanks for keeping us all current with our Three Megs and a Trend.
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