Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's Fiance, Speaks out on Early Career
A piece Meghan Markle penned in Elle Magazine in 2015 has illuminated some of the challenges she faced early on in her career as an actor.
Markle, who recently announced her engagement to Prince Harry, is biracial, writing of her own formative experiences with racism during her youth and her journey to understand her own identity, embracing its complexities.
"While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that," she explains. "To say who I am, to share where I'm from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman."
With character breakdowns so often specifying race (even when completely unnecessary), Markle describes that, as a working actor, she was pegged in the industry as being "ethnically ambiguous", meaning "I could audition for virtually any role".
"Morphing from Latina when I was dressed in red, to African American when in mustard yellow," she writes. "My closet filled with fashionable frocks to make me look as racially varied as an Eighties Benetton poster."
"Sadly, it didn't matter: I wasn't black enough for the black roles and I wasn't white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn't book a job."
She goes on to praise the producers of Suits - on which she plays lawyer Rachel Zane, though she's set to quit at the end of season 7 - for not specifying race when casting the role. "They were simply looking for Rachel," she adds. "In making a choice like that, the Suits producers helped shift the way pop culture defines beauty."